Statement on Social Science One’s Scholarly Access to Facebook Data

Jesse Blumenthal, director of technology and innovation at the Charles Koch Institute and vice president of technology and innovation at Stand Together, said the following about the status of the scholarly access to Facebook data:

“From the start, we saw this project as an opportunity to establish new norms around how independent scholars can gain unique access to data held by a private firm that would help to answer society’s most important questions about social media’s role in civic discourse and the open exchange of ideas. We’ve learned a great deal from the initiative and remain committed to supporting scholarship on questions of digital free speech and the role of intermediaries, like Facebook. While this project has fallen short of its initial goals in certain respects, there is substantial value in diverse partners joining together to support innovative efforts like Social Science One.”

The organizations supporting Social Science One, including the Hewlett Foundation, Knight Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Democracy Fund, Omidyar Network, Arnold Foundation, and the Charles Koch Foundation, provided greater detail in an open letter shared with scholars participating in the project. The lead researchers of Social Science One have also previously detailed what they’ve learned through the process to date.

This initiative reflects our broader work supporting partners who are addressing the questions that arise with emerging technologies and, in doing so, enabling people to realize their benefits.

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