Facebook’s Move To Block Researchers Angers Senator Warner

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U.S. Senator Mark Warner criticized Facebook’s decision to block a team of researchers from New York University investigating political ads and COVID-19 misinformation from accessing its website.

Facebook said Tuesday that it had cut off the personal accounts and access of NYU researchers who studied political ads on the site out of concern for other users’ privacy.

Warner, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called the move a setback: “This latest action by Facebook to cut off an outside group’s transparency efforts – efforts that have repeatedly facilitated revelations of ads violating Facebook’s terms of service, ads for frauds and predatory financial schemes, and political ads that were improperly omitted from Facebook’s lacklustre Ad Library – is deeply concerning.”

Facebook defended the action, saying that the company was clear about the privacy concerns to NYU. According to Facebook “their researchers ultimately chose not to address them and instead resumed scraping people’s data and ads from our platform.”

For more information, read the original story in Reuters.

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