If Facebook offered to pay you to temporarily close your account, would you take the money?
Such an offer may even come your way as the social networking giant offers cash payments to some Facebook and Instagram users as part of a study to learn more about the effects of social media on democracy Still working.
Recognizing that the “political debate has gone online” since the advent of sites like Facebook, and the responsibility that brought it, the company said this week that it was talking about people’s interactions with Facebook and Instagram during the upcoming president Will start research with the aim of finding out more. Election.
A post on its website stated, “On social media is good for democracy, and to continue to mitigate against what is not, we need more purpose, controversy, empirical research.” “We need to understand whether social media makes us more polarized as a society, or if it largely reflects the divisions that already exist; If it helps people become better informed about politics, or less; Or if it affects people’s attitudes towards government and democracy, including how and where they vote. “
Facebook says it has partnered with 17 independent researchers to conduct the study, which will include 400,000 US residents who agree to participate. The research will involve several research methods such as targeted changes to some participants’ experiences with Facebook and Instagram and even a request to stop using the platforms for a specific period of time.
While Facebook makes no mention of the payment to Elizabeth Dvoskin of The Washington Post on Thursday Tweeted In a Facebook message, it was already asked by some participants of the study how much they would have to pay to deactivate their account for a week or six weeks starting this month. Three options are given: $ 10 a week, $ 20 a week, or $ 30 a week.
Facebook later confirmed the payment system A tweet, Saying, “Any person who chooses to be selected – whether completing the survey or deactivating the FB or IG for a period of time – will be compensated. For this type of academic research it is considerable Is standard. “
Facebook said that during its study “not every debate about social media and democracy will be settled,” it believes the research will “advance society’s understanding of the intersection of technology and democracy” [and] Help us all to shape the rules of the road for the Internet – for the benefit of our democracy and the society as a whole. “
The results of the study are expected to be published in mid-2021.
Facebook received much criticism after the 2016 presidential election, with research suggesting that some 126 million Americans paid political advertisements intended by Russian organizations to influence voters.
Eager to get things done right at the moment, Facebook says it now has three times as many people working on safety and security issues – more than 35,000 in all – and posting fake news on its platform Has been reduced by more than 50%. It has also tightened the rules on political advertisements and recently started a voting information center offering a range of resources.
Despite the changes, the company is facing a number of challenges when it comes to its platform to handle misinformation and other nefarious content, with the upcoming election even more to shine a brighter light on its activities.