January 26, 2022

Statement: “Researchers, NYU, Knight Institute Condemn Facebook’s Effort to Squelch Independent Research about Misinformation”

UPDATE August 6, 2021

Researchers, Knight Institute Call on Facebook to Reinstate Researcher’s Accounts in Light of FTC Statement (via Knight Institute for the First Amendment at Columbia University)

UPDATE August 5, 2021

Media Reports About Facebook’s Action Discussed in the Statement Below


From the Knight Institute for the First Amendment at Columbia University:

After months of negotiations, late yesterday evening, Facebook abruptly shut down the accounts of New York University researchers Laura Edelson and Damon McCoy, blocking their research into political ads and the spread of misinformation on the platform. Two weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Facebook sent Edelson and McCoy a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that they discontinue use of the research tool they developed, called Ad Observer, and that they take down the results of their prior research. Facebook threatened to shut down their public interest research–a move that prompted public outcry in support of the project by researchers, journalism organizations, and civil society groups. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and First Amendment specialists at Ballard Spahr are representing Edelson and McCoy in their personal capacities in this matter.

Learn More, Read the Complete Statement

See Also: Twitter Thread by NYU Researcher Laura Edelson

See Also: Blog Post From Facebook (via Facebook Newsroom)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.