Researchers want Facebook to change its rules, making it easier for journalists and academics to undertake investigations and studies on the social network. The Knight First Amendment Institute, a nonprofit organization at Columbia University, on Monday sent a letter asking CEO Mark Zuckerberg to amend Facebook’s terms of service and create a “safe harbor” for social media research and public interest journalism. “We need to better understand how Facebook’s human and algorithmic decisions are influencing public discourse and shaping our democracy,” said Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight Institute, in an emailed release. “Facebook should lift the restrictions that obstruct digital journalists and researchers from studying the forces at work on its platform.” The letter called out two main methods used in social media reporting: scraping public information and creating temporary research accounts. Journalists and scholars who use these methods on Facebook currently may be suspended or shut down for using fake profiles. In a statement, Facebook said it already offers journalists ways to use its platform for research. “Journalists and researchers play a critical role in helping people better understand companies and their products – as well as holding us accountable when we get things wrong. We do have strict limits in place on how third parties can use people’s information, and we recognize that these sometimes get in the way of this work,” said Campbell Brown, head of global news partnerships at Facebook, in an email statement. “We offer tools for journalists that protect people’s privacy, including… [Read full story]
You are here: / / Facebook needs ‘safe harbor’ for public interest journalism, say researchers
CNET is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally.