Congress should mandate an unprecedented corporate data-sharing program to enable outside, independent researchers to conduct the kinds of analysis on social media platforms that firm insiders routinely perform.
With access to these documents, scholars could support the media, public, and policymakers in identifying where Facebook’s internal research is conclusive, what inferences can be drawn, which topics require more evidence and future research, and what that research should be.
As the Facebook Papers revelations continue, it’s critical for the government, through legislation or regulation, to require social media platforms to be more transparent and open up more data to outside researchers.
In 2020, Craig Newmark Philanthropies donated $400,000 to support our PhD students, ensuring they could continue their research projects examining some of the biggest questions at the intersection of social media and democracy. Here is an update on what they've been working on this past year thanks to Craig's generous support.
NYU has established the Center for Social Media and Politics, which will examine the production, flow, and impact of social media content in the political sphere, as well as support research that uses social media data to study politics.