Aug 4, 2021

Facebook and academics row over data access

Facebook product management director Mike Clark blogged research should not happen at the expense of people's privacy. Last summer, the researchers were told their Ad Observatory browser extension violated Facebook's terms and asked to stop scraping data from the platform. Facebook told BBC News it had been left with "No choice but to disable the researchers' developer access, accounts and apps" after repeatedly explaining its concerns. The decision to shut down their access comes against a backdrop of Facebook overhauling the way researchers use its tools. New York Times journalist Kevin Roose, who used Crowdtangle to report right-wing news was seeing far more engagement among Facebook users than mainstream stories, suggested its decision to downgrade the service was part of a wider public-relations plan for Facebook to "Manage its reputation".

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