On the eve of elections, Facebook remains committed to "cleaning up" its name with regard to security and privacy issues, especially in the heat of the run-up to elections. The European Union's electoral process runs on May 20, and the social network has already opened a war room to intercept any kind of fake news, such as fake news, before it has a chance to spread.
The Mark Zuckerberg company also recently decided to open its data to 60 researchers from 30 institutions to study and measure their impact on elections and democracy as well as understand how they are used by advertisers. In practice, Facebook will give academics access to the websites that its users have been linking between January 2017 and February 2019. This period does not include the impact of social networking in its most troubled period, notably the United States presidential elections of 2016 and the referendum of Brexit also in the same year.
According to Technology Reviews, the period provided is massive, accounting for the daily activity of almost 1.6 billion users. This is one of the largest data samples on online human behavior ever made available. The project has been working for about a year, trying to balance research interests and obvious privacy and confidentiality issues for users.
In order not to jeopardize the study, the chosen researchers will not have been chosen by the social network administration, but by the Social Science Research Council, a nonprofit American institution. Likewise, as the social network refers to a message on your blog, statistics analysis techniques are used that make it impossible to identify the targeted users. Thus, researchers will only have access to the data through a secure portal, using a VPN and two-factor authentication. In addition, they can only access a certain number of data in each survey.