To Mark Zuckerberg:

Facebook has kicked top researchers from NYU’s Ad Observatory off the platform in an attempt to shut down one of the only tools conducting independent oversight of political ads on Facebook. The Ad Observatory helps researchers understand how political advertisers target organizations and individuals on Facebook.

Users give explicit consent to collect their data when they choose to download the Ad Observatory browser extension. The only sources that do not give explicit consent are the advertisers whose ads are, by definition, public.

We demand that Facebook reinstate the accounts of NYU Ad Observatory researchers now.

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    Don't Let Facebook Silence Independent Researchers

    Tell Zuckerberg: We Demand Independent Oversight

    Facebook claims that it wants Congress to regulate its operations. But Facebook’s recent move to ban researchers associated with the NYU Ad Observatory Project shows that what Facebook really wants is to protect its hate-and-lie-for-profit business model.

    The Ad Observatory is the best tool available for providing independent oversight of political ads on the platform.

    Facebook attempted to blame the move on FTC rules, which prompted the acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to issue a statement making clear that their rules were in no way violated. Facebook tried to compare the Ad Observatory to Cambridge Analytica’s theft of user data — but all Ad Observatory users give explicit permission to access their data when they download the tool.

    Tell Facebook: Reinstate the accounts of NYU Ad Observatory researchers now!

    Original photo of "Mark Zuckerberg" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Alessio Jacona