Private Social Media Data in the Public Interest: What’s Next?
To address the variety of problems related to social media like disinformation, harassment, and hate speech, governments and civil society need better information and evidence bases.
Recap of the Institute for Rebooting Social Media’s first public event.
Recent challenges in platform research (including testimony by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen) have made this clearer and led to renewed attention to the difficulty of accessing data held by social media companies. The complex, persistent barriers to access have led journalists, academics, and members of civil society to devise other ways to study key aspects of online behavior on social media platforms.
What might genuine data-driven oversight of social media companies look like? How can policy and industry efforts ensure the public interest while addressing various competing tensions around privacy, security, and competition?
Hosted by the Berkman Klein Center’s Institute for Rebooting Social Media, this panel discussion explored both existing legal and policy dilemmas around these questions and possible paths forward to address them.
Nathaniel Persily, James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School
Nabiha Syed, President of The Markup
Nicole Wong, Former Deputy US Chief Technology Officer
Ethan Zuckerman, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Communication and Information and the Director of the Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure at the University of Massachusetts
Jonathan Zittrain (moderator), George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School
- Nathaniel Persily, Facebook hides data showing it harms users. Outside scholars need access.
- The Markup, Citizen Browser Series
- Ethan Zuckerman, Demand five precepts to aid social-media watchdogs
- John Bowers, Will Marks, Jonathan Zittrain, Digital Platforms Need Poison Cabinets
(Header image by Susanne Nilsson, CC BY-SA 2.0.)