Open Letter: Facebook, Do Your Part Against Disinformation

Mozilla, Access Now, Reporters Without Borders, and
30 other organizations have published an
open letter
to Facebook.
Our ask: make good on your
promises to provide more transparency around political advertising
ahead of the 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections

Is Facebook making a sincere effort to be transparent about the
content on its platform? Or, is the social media platform
neglecting its promises?

Facebook
promised European lawmakers
and users it would increase the
transparency of political advertising on the platform to prevent
abuse during the elections. But in the very same breath, they took
measures to
block access to transparency tools
that let users see how they
are being targeted.

With the 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections on the horizon, it
is vital that Facebook take action to address this problem. So
today, Mozilla and 32
other organizations — including
Access Now and Reporters Without Borders — are publishing
an open letter to Facebook
.

“We are writing you today as a group of technologists, human
rights defenders, academics, journalists and Facebook users who are
deeply concerned about the validity of Facebook’s promises to
protect European users from targeted disinformation campaigns
during the European Parliamentary elections,” the letter
reads.

“Promises and press statements aren’t enough; instead,
we’ll be watching for real action over the coming months and will
be exploring ways to hold Facebook accountable if that action
isn’t sufficient,” the letter continues.

Individuals may sign their name to the letter, as well. Sign
here.

Read the full letter,
here
or below. The letter will also appear in
the Thursday print edition of POLITICO Europe.


Lire cette lettre en français

   


Diesen Brief auf Deutsch lesen

The letter urges Facebook to make good on its promise to EU
lawmakers. Last year, Facebook signed the EU’s
Code of Practice on disinformation
and pledged to increase
transparency around political advertising. But since then, Facebook
has made political advertising more opaque, not more
transparent. The company recently
blocked access
to third-party transparency tools.

Specifically, our open letter urges Facebook to:

  • Roll out a functional, open
    Ad Archive API
    that enables advanced research and development
    of tools that analyse political ads served to Facebook users in the
    EU
  • Ensure that all political advertisements are clearly
    distinguished from other content and are accompanied by key
    targeting criteria such as sponsor identity and amount spent on the
    platform in all EU countries
  • Cease all harassment of good faith researchers who are building
    tools to provide greater transparency into the advertising on
    Facebook’s platform.

To safeguard the integrity of the EU Parliament elections,
Facebook must be part of the solution. Users and voters
across the EU have the right to know who is paying to promote the
political ads they encounter online; if they are being targeted;
and why they are being targeted.

The full letter

Dear Facebook:

We are writing you today as a group of technologists, human
rights defenders, academics, journalists and Facebook users who are
deeply concerned about the validity of Facebook’s promises to
protect European users from targeted disinformation campaigns
during the European Parliamentary elections. You have
promised European lawmakers
and users that you will increase
the transparency of political advertising on the platform to
prevent abuse during the elections. But in the very same breath,
you took measures to

block access to transparency tools
that let your
users see how they are being targeted.

In the company’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Mark
Zuckerberg wrote that the most important principles around data are
transparency, choice and control. By
restricting access to advertising transparency tools
available
to Facebook users, you are undermining transparency,
eliminating the choice of your users to install tools that
help them analyse political ads, and wielding control over good
faith researchers
who try to review data on the platform. Your

alternative
to these third party tools provides simple keyword
search functionality and does not provide the level of data access
necessary for meaningful transparency.

Actions speak louder than words. That’s why you must take
action to meaningfully deliver on the
commitments made to the EU institutions
, notably the
increased transparency that you’ve promised
. Promises and
press statements aren’t enough; instead, we need to see real
action over the coming months, and we will be exploring ways to
hold Facebook accountable if that action isn’t sufficient.

Specifically, we ask that you implement the following
measures by 1 April 2019 to give developers sufficient lead time to
create transparency tools in advance of the elections:

  • Roll out a functional, open
    Ad Archive API
    that enables advanced research and
    development of tools that analyse political ads served to Facebook
    users in the EU
  • Ensure that all political advertisements are clearly
    distinguished from other content and are accompanied by key
    targeting criteria such as sponsor identity and amount spent on the
    platform in all EU countries
  • Cease harassment of good faith researchers who are building
    tools to provide greater transparency into the advertising on your
    platform

We believe that Facebook and other platforms can be positive
forces that enable democracy, but this vision can only be realized
through true transparency and trust. Transparency cannot just be on
the terms with which the world’s largest, most powerful tech
companies are most comfortable.

We look forward to the swift and complete implementation of
these transparency measures that you have promised to your
users.

Sincerely,

Mozilla Foundation

and also signed by:

Access Now
AlgorithmWatch
All Out
Alto Data Analytics
ARTICLE 19
Aufstehn
Bits of Freedom
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
Campax
Center for Democracy and Technology
CIPPIC
Civil Liberties Union for Europe
Civil Rights Defenders
de clic
doteveryone
Estonian Human Rights Center
Free Press Unlimited
GONG Croatia

Greenpeace
Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights (CILD)
Mobilisation Lab
Open Data Institute
Open Knowledge International
OpenMedia
PROVIDUS
Reporters Without Borders
Skiftet
SumOfUs
Transparent Referendum Initiative
Uplift
Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
WhoTargetsMe

The post
Open Letter: Facebook, Do Your Part Against Disinformation

appeared first on The Mozilla
Blog
.

Source: FS – _Marketing
Open Letter: Facebook, Do Your Part Against Disinformation