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    Facebook Launches New Initiative to Help Assess Social Media Impact on Elections

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A new initiative will help provide information about the role of social media in elections, Facebook said in a press release on Monday.

    "Today, Facebook is announcing a new initiative to help provide independent, credible research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally," the release said.

    A group of academic experts will be part of a commission that will look at the impact of society media on society, starting with elections and hopefully understand the role of Facebook in upcoming elections throughout the world, the release said.

    The release added that the information the researchers uncover will help Facebook make better decisions and faster progress on preventing voter influence through its platform.

    READ MORE: Zuckerberg: Facebook Backs Honest Ads Act, US Proposal to Regulate Political Ads

    Since the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook has taken steps to improve transparency, including stricter rules for ad placement, fact-checking photos, videos and links, as well as adding technology to get rid of fake accounts and improve security.

    Last week, the personal information of 87 million Facebook users were harvested by Cambridge Analytica consulting firm without the users permission. While reportedly working for multiple political campaigns, the firm gathered data from these millions of social media accounts to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behavior of voters.

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