Facebook is allowing academic researchers to access political advertisement data through its platform, so they can provide their input in terms of identifying flaws and discrepancies related to elections, so as to contribute to the transparency of elections.
Facebook is allowing access to over 1.3 billion political ads that have been published through its platform in the past three months. The social media company has an Open Research and Transparency platform where researchers will be required to apply if they wish to collect advertisement data through Facebook.
Facebook explained that it wanted to assist researchers in terms of better understanding how the company’s products are used for political ads. Since a lot of researchers have been struggling to gain complete access to desired political data required for research, Facebook has finally allowed them to access its political ads while making sure that users’ privacy is secured.
Moreover, Facebook owns an ad library that it had launched in 2019, which will provide data for research, including all the ads that run through Facebook’s platform as well as Instagram. Specific details that researchers will be able to access will include information on how the ads run from Facebook’s platform, who views them, and the profit that Facebook makes through these ads.