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Facebook Will Pay Users To Log Off Until After Election

Facebook is going to pay some users to deactivate their Facebook or Instagram accounts until 2020’s presidential election in November.

The company said the study is meant to analyze the impact of social media on key political attitudes and behaviors during the election. Facebook released a statement claiming they want to better understand whether social media creates a more polarized society or if it simply shows us divisions that are already there. It also wants to figure out if social media affects whether people vote and how they vote.

Recently Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sounded the alarm during an interview with Axios on HBO about the “heightened risk” of “violence or civil unrest” that could potentially occur on and shortly after election night.

Here’s how the study works: Facebook or Instagram will ask a user if they want to participate in the study while they’re on the app. If the user agrees, Facebook or Instagram asks how many weeks they’d be willing to be inactive. Users can choose to deactivate their accounts for either 1 or 6 weeks and Facebook would pay $10 to $20 per week. There’s also a paid survey after the Nov. 3 election.

Facebook expects 200,000 to 400,000 U.S. adults to take part in the research. It plans to publish the findings sometime next year.

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