Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Here’s Chalkbeat’s vision for local education news by 2025
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 29, 2019, 1:09 p.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
LINK: items.ssrc.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Christine Schmidt   |   April 29, 2019

Facebook knows it screwed up, is trying to do better, and is spending some of this year actually listening to critiques and suggestions (supposedly). Zuckerberg even has a podcast now!

But seriously, Facebook and a coalition of social science researchers have announced a group of 60 academics who will have access to some internal Facebook data to analyze “the role social media has on elections and democracy and help Facebook and other companies improve their products and practices.” That’s Facebook’s wording, but the company was not involved in the decision-making process, and it is not providing funding for the research either; that’s coming from eight foundations, including Knight, Charles Koch, and Omidyar Network.

(Facebook has also emphasized the secure system it’s building to share the privacy-protected data with the researchers, since, you know, their past process for sharing data wasn’t the greatest.)

The Social Science Research Council, an independent nonprofit research organization, and Social Science One, a new academic/industry partnership incubated at Harvard to collaborate with Facebook, took the lead on determining the research grantees:

These grantees will seek to use access to Facebook data to better explain how political news is shared in European multiparty political systems; to understand how social events or technology platform changes influence communication behaviors such as spreading disinformation; and to deepen our knowledge of how social media platforms were used in elections in Italy, Chile, and Germany and how their use may influence public opinion in Taiwan.

Below is the full list, with abstracts in the links. But you won’t see any from Africa, home to 17 percent of the world’s population, though the council notes in its announcement: “The grant projects we announce today hint at the global potential of the Social Media and Democracy Research Grants competition.”

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Here’s Chalkbeat’s vision for local education news by 2025
The network’s pitch to local funders: “By the time the school reforms reached their zenith, there was not a single local education reporter dedicated to covering them.”
The New York Times shutters NYT en Español after three years: “It did not prove financially successful”
NYT en Español’s founding editorial director called the decision “extremely short-sighted,” and many others who’d worked on the product or read and followed it expressed their disappointment.
Nonprofit news outlets aren’t relying as heavily on foundations — but journalism philanthropy continues to grow
“Nonprofit news organizations have much in common even if their scope or mission differs. Their journalistic missions are shaped largely by the gaps they are trying to fill — investigative at the state, national and global level; more general news at the local level.”