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Ahead of the US election, Facebook will pay people to deactivate Facebook and Instagram

Most people do it for free.

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Image: KnowTechie

In a recent post, Facebook announced that it would conduct a new research initiative on its platform by a team of independent academics. They also plan to compensate the participants in the study financially. 

The weird part is that the participants won’t need to do much. They will only need to log off from their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Some of them will need to log off from either Facebook or Instagram. Others will have to log off from both accounts.

According to Facebook, they want up to 400,00 people to participate in the project. The participants will need to deactivate their accounts for up to 6 weeks. Doing so, they will be able to earn as much as $120 during that period.

Aside from logging off from their accounts, the participants will need to answer a set of questions after the study is finished. 

The goal of the project

The goal of the study is to evaluate the impact of social media on voting. The idea is to better understand how social media shifts people’s perception, whether people are more or less polarized, and the impact on election day.

Much of this is motivated by what happened in 2016 when Facebook was scrutinized for its lack of effort in preventing fake news and misinformation during the presidential election. Furthermore, Facebook was attacked because it was used as a platform for political abuse and political polarization.

All this comes in light of the 2020 presidential election this November. 

The researchers

An independent group of researchers led by Professors Joshua A. Tucker and Talia Stroud will conduct the initiative. They will be leading a team of 15 additional researchers from the academic community. None of the researchers will be paid by Facebook or organizations with close relations to the social network. 

According to the contract between the researchers and Facebook, they will have full access to the data they need, and there will be no restrictions in that regard. Plus, the contract guarantees them that when the study is over, they can ask the participants any questions they want, no restrictions in that area.

The researchers pledged that they would publicly reveal their findings and conclusions on the Social Science One website. More information about signing up will be made available later in September.

What do you think? Would you do this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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