New York University academics ask Facebook to reopen their accounts after being closed for “breach of conditions”

New York University academics ask Facebook to reopen their accounts after being closed for “breach of conditions”

A group of academics claims to be censored by Facebook and they hope it is just an “incident.”

Photo: by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images

The personal Facebook accounts of a group of New York University researchers, the NY Academy Observatory, were closed and academics denounce censorship. While spokesmen for the social network platform point out that NYU violated Facebook’s terms of service by collecting user data without permission.

Despite Facebook’s arguments, scholars at the NY Academy Observatory insist that they did have permission from each of the people participating in the study.

The NYU group says that “the intentions of those who run the social network are sinister, as they try to prevent certain problems related to advertising used on Facebook from being brought to light.

For its part, the Federal Trade Commission claims the way in which Facebook relied on the FTC’s “consent decree” even though the FTC “did not receive any notice that the decree would be publicly invoked. of consent to justify the cessation of academic research earlier this week ”.

This research group was created to examine the transparency of advertisements on the social network in order to discover who pays for them and to whom they are addressed.

In principle the academics wanted show that Facebook does not verify whether it is misleading advertising or not, so the NYU group talks about collaborating with the spread of disinformation.

To do this, the Academy Observatory created what they call a “browser add-on” called Ad Observer that will automatically collect information about certain advertising on Facebook. And the researchers say that this does not take any personal information, but the social media company says that if they violate the privacy of the user.

In the same way, Lauren Edelson, from NYU also explains that the Facebook accounts of the rest of the team and those of some journalists who had access to it were also suspended.

This group was also investigating misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines Through advertising made on the aforementioned social network.

Facebook says it tried to reach an agreement with academics so that its regulations were met, but it was not possible. This is explained on the same Facebook page by Mike Clark, the company’s director of product management.

For months, we have tried to work with New York University to provide three of their researchers with the precise access they have requested in a privacy-protected manner. Today, we have disabled the accounts, applications, pages, and platform access associated with the New York University Ad Observatory project and its operators, following our repeated attempts to have your research meet our terms.

Clark says in the statement that the research group collected data by creating a browser extension programmed to bypass our detection systems and scrape data such as usernames, advertisements, links to user profiles, and others.

All this prudence and care on the part of the great social network platform perhaps directly related to the Cambridge Analytica case, the scandal around the data leakage of millions of Facebook users and then used for political purposes. Case that made the shares wobble on the stock market in 2018.


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