Facebook's lack of Transparency is Causing Researchers to lose Trust in the Company once again!

It wasn’t too long ago when Mark Zuckerberg expressed his intentions of making Facebook a privacy-focused company. However, it seems like he is not inline with the thoughts of transparency being a crucial part of privacy as it has been reported by TechCrunch that Facebook is not allowing researchers to study its ad platform.

So, after a few promising claims, many people believe that Facebook is back to doing things without keeping its users in the loop. After a massive privacy scandal, people were hopeful after new changes were proposed by Facebook to prevent any similar mishap. But as long as transparency isn’t included, there can’t be significant improvements.

Facebook has been putting obstacles in the path of researchers who attempt to study information related to political ads such as misinformation, presence etc. Although Facebook can defend itself from this accusation by saying that researchers can utilize the consumer tool on the website to get details about the data that advertisers can leverage, it isn’t suitable from research point of view.

Mozilla mentioned in a blog post about the Facebook ad API not providing sufficient data and making it difficult for researchers to study freely about the misinformation so that people can be made aware of its consequences.

Moreover, all ad data is not available and because it can’t be downloaded in bulk, in addition to the ads in the API not being identified uniquely, it is not possible to get complete information about the ads running on the platform.

Another concerning thing is that there’s no way to find out how much are advertisers spending to retrieve our data and run ads against it. Thus, Facebook needs to take notice of these complaints and do something to make itself transparent because until then, its word cannot be fully trusted.

Read next: Facebook's Impact on Elections to be Studied Thoroughly, thanks to a number of new Research Projects!
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