Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Facebook awards grants for social media and elections research

Facebook awards grants for social media and elections research

More than 60 projects from all over the world will have access to Facebook’s data.

Facebook is making good on its promise to better understand the complicated role it plays in global politics. The social media giant announced the first recipients of a grant that will allow researchers access to its privacy-protected data for the study of social media's impact on elections. More than 60 researchers from 30 academic institutions from 11 countries were picked by an independent peer-review review board. Grantees will have access to an unprecedented amount of data from Facebook and Instagram for their research; a total of 6.9 billion page posts, 1.2 billion group posts, 11.2 million verified profile posts and 1.6 billion Instagram posts.

While the projects are located all over the world and vary in their approach, they all align with the initiative's wider goal: to find out how fake news on Facebook impacts voting behavior. One study by the National Chengchi University in Taiwan will look at how link sharing influences Taiwanese elections. Another project from Sciences Po in France entitled "I Read It on Facebook": How Do Conversations on Social Media Escape the Agenda-Setting of News Media?" will analyze audiences for every French news outlet during recent elections. One from Ohio State University seeks to understand problematic sharing behavior on Facebook.
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