Is Social Science One independent of Facebook?

Facebook is committed to partnering with Social Science One to further the broader goal of studying the impact of social media on elections and democracy. Facebook is building a dedicated internal team to work with the commission, and academic researchers we approve, to prepare privacy-protected datasets and analytical tools with high security, including full auditing of what any one researcher does.

Facebook will pay for its own expenses, including the cost of making data available, the cost of securing that data, and the Facebook staff necessary for this project.

We have insulated the grant making and decision processes from financial incentives, with Facebook providing no funding for the independent academic experts. All funding will come from our diverse array of nonprofit foundations.  Facebook has also relinquished its right to pre-publication approval. If Facebook prevents Social Science One from obtaining any relevant data for research, the commission has the legal right, and indeed the obligation, to report this publicly.