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Facebook teams with nonprofits to launch election research commission

Facebook teams with nonprofits to launch election research commission
From TechCrunch - April 9, 2018

Facebooks post-Cambridge Analytica apology tour continues this morning with the announcement of an initiative aimed at helping social science researchers gauge the sites impact on key political events.

In a post issued this morning, the companys Vice President of Communications and Public Policy Director of Research outlined the plan and hammered home its focus on impartial data collection. Facebook will not have any right to review or approve their research findings prior to publication, the pair writes.

The initiative is backed by a whos who of nonprofit foundations that will sound familiar to anyone whos spent any time with the dial tuned to NPR. The group hopes lessons learned from Brexit and the presidential election will help shed some light on how the social media behemoth could potentially impact upcoming elections like U.S. midterms, Brazil, India and Mexicoa pretty aggressive timeframe for this kind of work.

[W]e think its an important new model for partnerships between industry and academia, the pair writes. Second, the last two years have taught us that the same Facebook tools that help politicians connect with their constituentsand different communities debate the issues they care aboutcan also be misused to manipulate and deceive.

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