8. Research the role of social media in elections
On Monday morning, Facebook announced the creation of a new initiative to conduct “independent, credible research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally.”
Facebook said it will develop requests for research proposals (with the help of a commission of researchers) and, when appropriate, provide “privacy-protected datasets” for researchers to analyze. Facebook said “will not have any right to review or approve their research findings prior to publication.”
Seven different foundations are funding the effort. (It’s not clear if Facebook is offering cash in addition to data sets. The announcement made no mention of Facebook funding the initiative.)MORE NEWS: Executive Director of Catholic Charities Says COVID-Stricken Migrants Eating At Whataburger An 'Isolated Case'
It’s not the first time the company has responded to criticism by partnering with affected groups. Slightly over one year ago, Facebook launched its Journalism Project, an effort to smooth relations with an industry that largely sees itself as damaged by Facebook. It’s not clear if anything has changed, though: One critic called the project “a public relations exercise aimed at placating publisher critics.”