Sixty researchers across 11 countries have been selected to deepen public understanding on the role that social media has on elections and democracy.

Facebook began the research initiative back in 2018 after revelations of foreign influence campaigns in the 2016 United States (US) elections.

The researchers will receive access to the internal architecture of Facebook and academics will be allowed to study the impact of the information on elections.

Jan Vermeulen, Editor at Large for My Broadband, says researchers had to compete for selection by submitting their research ideas.

“Research grants are given to universities in the US, China, Chile Germany, Italy and all over the world. We’ve had our one in South Africa,” says Vermeulen.

He says social media has been used in elections before but only Twitter had been recognised.

Listen to the full interview below: