Facebook will soon offer users money to stop using the social network and its cousin, Instagram, in the weeks before the 2020 presidential election.
“Anyone who chooses to opt in — whether it’s completing surveys or deactivating FB or IG for a period of time — will be compensated. This is fairly standard for this type of academic research,” said Facebook spokeswoman Liz Bourgeois.
The company will pick selected members to receive $120 to deactivate their accounts at the end of September.
The company said about 200,000 to 400,000 people will take part in the study.
“This research won’t settle every debate about social media and democracy, but we hope and expect the researchers will advance society’s understanding of the intersection of technology and democracy. The answers will help us all to shape the rules of the road for the internet – for the benefit of our democracy, and society as a whole.”
Washington Post reporter Elizabeth Dwoskin first reported on the story through Twitter, showing an Instagram story with details about the survey.
The survey’s page read:
“Your account would be deactivated in late September for either 1 week or 6 weeks. To participate, you must be willing to deactivate your account for both time periods and not use Instagram during that time. When the study starts, you’ll find out which time period you’ve been selected to deactivate your account for.”