Today, Facebook is announcing a new initiative to help provide independent, credible research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally. It will be funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Democracy Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
At the heart of this initiative will be a group of scholars who will:
- Define the research agenda;
- Solicit proposals for independent research on a range of different topics; and
- Manage a peer review process to select scholars who will receive funding for their research, as well as access to privacy-protected datasets from Facebook which they can analyze.
Facebook will not have any right to review or approve their research findings prior to publication….
Gary King of Harvard University and Nate Persily of Stanford Law School have been instrumental in developing this innovative model for academic collaboration. You can read more about their model here.