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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

It's Time to Open the Black Box of Social Media

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Illustration of a lock with a digital style and circuitry.

Social media companies ought to welcome the help of independent researchers to better measure online harm and inform policies.

Credit: dem10/Getty Images

Social media companies collect vast amounts of data based on every interaction that takes place on their platforms. But these companies have a history of sharing scant portions of data about their platforms with researchers, preventing them from understanding the impacts of social media to individuals and society.

Such singular ownership of the most powerful social media platforms makes us fear this lockdown on data sharing will continue. After two decades of little regulation, it is time to require more transparency from social media companies.

From Scientific American
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