Facebook is worried about how it’s services influence 2020 elections

Facebook was first warned in late 2015 that Cambridge Analytica was misusing data illicitly harvested from millions of Americans in an attempt to sway the 2016 US elections.

It didn’t pull the plug on the firm’s access to user data until March 2018 after reporting from The Guardian turned the breach into a global scandal.

Facebook said it will pay thousands of users to participate in an independent study of how its social media products influence the 2020 US elections.

More than two years later and barely two months before the deadline for votes to cast their ballots in the 2020 elections Facebook has decided it wants to know more about how it impacts democracy.

Announcing last week that it would partner with 17 researchers to study the impact of Facebook and Instagram on voters’ attitudes and actions.

Fadi Quran , a non profit researcher has spoken to business insider , and commented on the topic, stating Facebook actions are a bit too late.

“Facebook has known now for a long time that there’s election interference, that malicious actors are using the platform to influence voters,”

“Why is this only happening now at such a late stage?”

Facebook said it doesn’t “expect to publish any findings until mid-2021 at the earliest.” The company did not reply to a request for comment on this story.

But both were skeptical that Facebook would make major changes based on this study or the 2020 elections more broadly. And Quran warned that, despite Facebook’s efforts to make the study independent, people shouldn’t take the study as definitive or allow it to become a “stamp of approval.”

Tisey Soft
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