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Facebook Grants Researchers Access to Study 2020 Election

Facebook Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Facebook Inc. is working with a group of third-party researchers to study how content and user behavior on the social network’s apps affect the 2020 election.

A group of 17 university researchers will look at how Facebook and Instagram influence issues such as political polarization, and whether people vote, said Talia Stroud, a communications professor at the University of Texas who is co-charing the research group. Users must consent to participate, and will be paid, says Chaya Nayak, who leads Facebook’s open research and transparency team. While Facebook is covering the costs to participants, the researchers are not taking money from the company. The researchers won’t need Facebook’s approval before it can publish its findings, the company said in a blog post.