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Meta tried to discredit researchers who identified fraudulent ads in its platforms

Núcleo - 12 de junho de 2024

Meta's external lawyers tried to discredit researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) who reported failures and negligence in ad moderation in its main platforms, Facebook and Instagram, according to government documents obtained by Nucleo.

A research report produced by NetLab, a laboratory that monitors and studies social media, was used bydi Senacon, a federal watchdog for consumer issues, to first notify and then fine Meta in November 2023.

At the time, the research group showed that the company did not take down more than 1,800 paid advertising posts containing scams that used the name of a popular government program to assist indebted individuals, called Desenrola, even after an official notification months earlier, in July 2023, had demanded the removal of the content.

One of the country’s leading social media scholars, Marie Santini, the coordinator of the group and the main target of the criticism, explains that defaming scientists has become a “global strategy” of Big Techs in order to try to silence critics in universities.

In the United States, the social network has gone as far as banning researchers from accessing data after they did something that displeased the company.

"They say that our methodologies are invalid or biased because they want their advertising clients to use only the metrics and analyses that they themselves create,” says the UFRJ professor.


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