Update from Gary King and Nate Persily | SOCIAL SCIENCE ONE

When we created Social Science One to facilitate access for the world’s social scientific community to social media data, we promised to release periodic updates noting our progress and describing the challenges we confront….

Of course, we recognized that working with Facebook would invite heavy scrutiny, given the maelstrom of controversy on many fronts that has engulfed the company since the 2016 election, not the least of it for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which was an academic scandal as well.  We hoped, however, that rigorous and careful scientific analysis of Facebook data, without funding from or pre-publication approval by Facebook, would provide valuable independent assessment of the conventional wisdom as to the platform’s varied effects on elections and democracy around the world.  We also hoped that we could prove the model we had developed for industry-academic partnerships and show how company data could be made accessible in a legal, trusted, privacy-preserving, and secure fashion that benefits everyone. The potential benefits for the social sciences, and for society at large, are so large that getting this right is critical….

We are close to being able to announce the first set of research teams approved for financial awards and data access….

[W]e plan to release access to data for approved researchers in two stages instead of all at once….

We continue to believe in the critical importance of opening up access for researchers to the most important information private companies possess on the nature of modern society and social interaction.  …”

Benjamin Mako Hil – Research Symbiont Award Speech – YouTube

Speech by Benjamin Mako Hill that was recorded for the presentations of the Research Symbiont Awards on January 6, 2019. The General Symbiosis Award “is given to a scientist working in any field who has shared data beyond the expectations of their field. For example, we seek applications from symbiotic scientists working in sociology, ecology, astrophysics, or any other field of science.”

A sad story: The conference was held in Hawaii and Mako couldn’t attend. They showed this recording instead….”