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[Slashdot] - Facebook Tells Academics To Stop Monitoring Its Political Ads

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couchslug shares a report from The Register: Facebook has ordered the end to an academic monitoring project that has repeatedly exposed failures by the internet giant to clearly label political advertising on its platform. The social media goliath informed New York University (NYU) that research by its Tandon School of Engineering's Online Transparency Project's Ad Observatory violates Facebook's terms of service on bulk data collection and demanded it end the program immediately. The project recruited 6,500 volunteers to install its AdObserver browser extension that collects data on the ads that Facebook shows them personally. It sends the information to the American university, allowing it to perform a real-time check that Facebook is living up its promise to clearly disclose not only who paid for political ads shown on the platform but also how much and when the adverts would be shown. The Facebook Ad Library is a public collection of all adverts running on Facebook, and any not suitably labeled are flagged up by the university project using data obtained via the AdObserver extension. Facebook didn't like this one bit, and responded with a warning letter on October 16, the Wall Street Journal first reported. The Silicon Valley titan wants the academic project shut down and all data deleted by November 30. It seems the researchers aren't backing down. On October 22, they published the latest research showing 12 political ads that had slipped under the radar as non-political on Facebook, some of which are still running.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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