January 2019

Update from Gary King and Nate Persily

When we created Social Science One to facilitate access for the world’s social scientific community to social media data, we promised to release periodic updates noting our progress and describing the challenges we confront.  In this post, we describe the substantial work accomplished over the past several months and highlight the remaining obstacles we face. We describe additional datasets to be made available in the coming months, and plans to announce the first group of researchers who will be granted (privacy-preserving) access to Facebook data and foundation funding through our partnership with the Social Science Research Council.  We also detail the important legal, technical, organizational, computational, privacy, and security challenges that have occupied our work to date. Despite these challenges, we believe we are building a firm foundation for a multi-year effort to investigate fundamental questions of social media’s impact on democracy around the world, which we hope can be expanded to other critical areas of research.

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