Skip down to main content

Facebook has so much more to tell us

Published on
5 Oct 2017
Written by
Robert Gorwa

Phil Howard and Bence Kollanyi wrote an opinion article for the Washington Post, discussing how Facebook could share more data about political advertising and targeting with the public.

Facebook and Twitter have taken the important step of handing over thousands of ads to Congress that were bought and circulated by Russian strategists to influence our elections. These examples show just how expertly the Russian propaganda machine can craft messages that stoke fear, hatred and panic among American voters.

But sharing examples is only the first small step in what should be a systematic analysis of foreign political influence on American voters through online networks. Facebook and Twitter are unique as media companies because they provide us with platforms for communicating with our networks of family and friends. The next step in understanding Russian interference involves sharing network data — not just ad examples.

At the Oxford Internet Institute, we have been studying how governments use social media to manipulate public opinion — in their own country and in others. Information provided by Facebook and Twitter has already allowed us to fill in some of the details.

Read the full article here.

Related Topics