Mozilla, MacArthur and Ford foundations unite to oppose Facebook ban on NYU disinformation research
Earlier this week, multiple high profile foundations including Mozilla, MacArthur, and Ford foundations joined forces to criticize Facebook for disabling the accounts of New York University researchers who were conducting an investigation into disinformation on the platform. Other organizations included in the criticism are the NetGain Partnership and the Omidyar Network. The group of foundations focuses particularly on fostering research into emerging technology. The letter was signed by the CEOs and presidents of each organization listed.
The letter states that the Facebook ban on the accounts of NYU researchers Laura Edelson and Damon McCoy was uncalled for and discriminatory. The pair of researchers ran the Ad Observer browser extension, which allowed for Facebook users to let the researchers see what ads pop up when on the social media platform. Facebook also released a statement about the incident, stating that the browser extension violated privacy regulations within Facebook. Initially, the company stated that it was forced to shut down the project due to a deal with the FTC. However, the FTC released a statement soon after that denied any relation to the work of Edelson and McCoy.