Joint Statement from Social Science One and Facebook

Social Science One and Facebook issue the following statement:

“We are grateful for the initial support from the Social Media and Democracy Foundation Funders and the Social Science Research Council to our project. Their efforts over this planned one year term have been integral to setting this important work in motion and we thank them. As the organizations responsible for initiating this project and managing the infrastructure for independent academic study and privacy-preserving data access, we look forward to continuing and expanding our efforts.

“Researchers currently in the program will continue to receive support and Facebook will continue to provide access to data and tooling to all grant recipients - current and future. We will provide data access to researchers who have not received financial awards through the standard Social Science One RFP processes. Additionally, in partnership with Social Science One, Facebook will continue to make more data available in a secure, privacy-protective manner.

“Researchers around the world, selected independently by this program have already used their access to investigate and begin to report on their findings. Datasets have already been shared with over 60 researchers, across 17 labs, and 30 universities around the world. Researchers can for the first time answer significant questions about the content that is being shared across Facebook, including country specific analyses in many countries, and the impact of third-party fact check ratings on efforts to curb misinformation. As per the original plan of this project, these researchers will be able to publish without prior approval from Facebook or anyone else.

“In the coming weeks and months, Facebook and Social Science One will continue working collaboratively to identify valuable privacy protective datasets across a wide range of areas related to elections and democracy. We look forward to working with researchers to advance academic and public understanding.“