Facebook Is Asked to Change Rules for Journalists and Scholars

www.nytimes.com

Researchers and journalists are asking Facebook to change its terms of service to make new allowances for newsgathering, reports Charlie Savage:

As examples of the kind of journalism research that could be conducted more freely if the rules were changed, the letter cited a Gizmodo projectthat explored how Facebook’s algorithm identifies people users may know and unintended problems; a New York Times article exposing a market in fake followers; a ProPublica investigation about how Facebook’s self-service advertising system enabled discriminatory housing practices; and a Columbia University digital journalism project that scrutinized the reach of Russian disinformation.
Facebook has sometimes instructed journalists or researchers to stop similar projects as a violation of its terms, the letter said, and “the mere possibility of legal action has a significant chilling effect,” prompting some to downsize or abandon projects.

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