Social Science One

Social Science One is a Facebook and Social Science Research Council research organization based administratively at Harvard University.


In 2018 Gary King, and Nathaniel Persily were co-chairs of the organization.[1] These two presented their idea for Social Science One as a corporate and academic partnership.[2]

Data and applicationsEdit

In 2018, Social Science One described the data as being about a petabyte of data, with part being user profiles presenting the country of their location, age, brand of device they use to engage, ideological affiliation, their ratio of friends to non-friends reading their posts, and various metrics associated with the Facebook like button.[3] The data also includes the URLs of various posts, typically 300 million per week, for a sum of 30 billion in this initial shared dataset.[3]

Research outcomes profiled in 2019 give election insights.[4]

Democracy Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation and Omidyar Network gave Facebook deadline to share data and threatened to pull out of the project because of the delay.[5][6]

On December 11, 2019, the Co-Chairs and European Advisory Committee of Social Science One made a public statement "The current situation is untenable. Heated public and political discussions are waged over the role and responsibilities of platforms in today’s societies, and yet researchers cannot make fully informed contributions to these discussions. We are mostly left in the dark, lacking appropriate data to assess potential risks and benefits. This is not an acceptable situation for scientific knowledge. It is not an acceptable situation for our societies".[7][8]


In April 2018, Social Science One provided no response to Forbes interview questions about the scope, schedule, community benefit, and safety of Social Science One data sharing project.[9] In May 2019 the organization had still not replied but seemed to have reflect on these and questions from various commentators, as the organization still had not made data available as originally described.[10] In August 2019 BuzzFeed noted that Social Science One had not fulfilled its commitment to share the data it promised 16 months earlier.[11]

Vox reported that Facebook established Social Science One to prevent future events similar to the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal and also as a public relations response to that problem.[12]


Measuring the Effects of Peer Sharing on Fake and Polarized News Consumption
Nicholas Beauchamp, David Lazer, Donghee Jo, Kenneth Joseph, Lu Wang

How Hyperlink Sharing on Facebook Influences Civic Engagement and Elections in Taiwan
Pai-lin Chen, Kung Chen, Yu-Chung Cheng, Shiuh-Feng Shih

“I Read It on Facebook”: How Do Conversations on Social Media Escape the Agenda-Setting of News Media?
Jean-Philippe Cointet, Dominique Cardon, Guillaume Plique

Understanding Problematic Sharing Behavior on Facebook
Kelly Garrett, Robert Bond, Ceren Budak, Jason Jones, Drew Margolin

Patterns of Facebook Interactions around Insular and Cross-Partisan Media Sources in the Run-up of the 2018 Italian Election
Fabio Giglietto, Laura Iannelli, Giada Marino, Nicola Righetti, Luca Rossi, Augusto Valeriani

Mapping Disinformation Campaigns across Platforms: The German General Election
Simon Hegelich, Joana Bayraktar, Fabienne Marco, Orestis Papakyriakopoulos, Juan Medina Serrano, Morteza Shahrezaye

The Role of Facebook in Legislative Campaigns in Chile (2017)
Juan Luna, Cristian Pérez-Muñoz, Barbara Poblete, Fernando Rosenblatt, Sergio Toro, Sebastián Valenzuela

Characterizing Mainstream and Nonmainstream Online News Sources in Social Media
Tanushree Mitra, Momen Bhuiyan, Shruti Phadke, Prerna Juneja

The Demographics of the Sharing of Hyperpartisan News in Brazil
Pablo Ortellado, Márcio Ribeiro

SHARENEWS: Predicting the Shareworthiness of ‘Real’ and ‘Fake’ News in Europe
Damian Trilling, Wouter Atteveldt, Denis Halagiera, Jakub Jakubowski, Juhi Kulshrestha, Judith Moeller, Cornelius Puschmann, Agnieszka Stępińska, Sebastian Stier, Cristian Vaccari, Claes Vreese

Studying Polarization, Misinformation, and Manipulation across Multiple Platforms and the Larger Information Ecosystem
Joshua Tucker, Richard Bonneau, Cody Buntain, Andrew Guess, Jonathan Nagler, Megan Brown

False News on Facebook during the 2017 Chilean Elections: Analyzing Its Content, Diffusion, and Audience Characteristics
Sebastián Valenzuela, Magdalena Saldaña, Benjamín Bustos, Juan Luna, Jorge Pérez, Bárbara Poblete

Do Fact-Checks Slow the Spread of Misinformation on Facebook and Twitter?
Matthew Baum, Nicholas Beauchamp, Nic Dias, Nir Grinberg, Cameron Hickey, David Lazer, Briony Swire-Thompson

Platforms, Ideology, and Demographics: Sources and Impact of Polarization on Propagation of Disinformation and False News
Yochai Benkler, Edoardo Airoldi, Justin Clark, Bruce Etling, Robert Faris, Jonas Kaiser, Aaron Kaufman Momin Malik, Hal Roberts

How Does Facebook Influence Parliament?
John Bryden, Lewis Westbury

Investigating Digital Outrage as an Engine of Disinformation
Molly Crockett, William Brady, Guillaume Chaslot, Kate Klonick, Killian McLoughlin

Exploring the Dissemination of Misinformation on Facebook in the United States
Andrew Guess, Jonathan Nagler, Joshua Tucker

Facebook Information Diffusion and Protest Mobilization: State-Level Analyses of the 2018 March for Our Lives Demonstrations
K. Hazel Kwon, Shawn Walker

Breaking Echo Chambers: How (and Which) News Diffuses across Polarized Groups on Facebook
Massimo Maoret, Jordi Torrents, Maria Trupia

Social Media and Elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe (SoMeKeZi)
Admire Mare

Framing and Sharing News on Social Media
Sora Park, Caroline Fisher, Glen Fuller, Michael Jensen, Jee Lee, Yoonmo Sang

Identifying Best Practices to Correct Misinformation on Facebook
Ethan Porter, David Broniatowski, Pedram Hosseini, Thomas Wood

Studying User Behavior in Reaction to Mis/Disinformation on Facebook
Franziska Roesner

Looking beyond the Crisis of Democracy: Patterns of Representation in Israeli Elections
Tamir Sheafer, Shaul Shenhav, Dror Markus, Guy Mor, Alon Zoizner

Scoping the “Fake News” Problem: What Fraction of Americans’ Information Diet Is Fake News, or Even News at All?
Duncan Watts, Hunt Allcott, David Rothschild

The Social Media Behavior of Venezuelan State Media: A Case Study on TeleSUR English
José Ricardo Zapata, Luciano Gallon, Ana Miralles, Ariel Sheen

[13]Social Science Research Center (14 April 2020). "Social Media and Democracy Research Grants". Social Science Research Center.


  1. ^ Nieva, Richard (11 July 2018). "Social Science One group will study Facebook's effect on elections". CNET.
  2. ^ King, Gary; Persily, Nathaniel (19 August 2019). "A New Model for Industry–Academic Partnerships". PS: Political Science & Politics: 1–7. doi:10.1017/S1049096519001021.
  3. ^ a b Coldewey, Devin (July 11, 2018). "Facebook independent research commission, Social Science One, will share a petabyte of user interactions". TechCrunch.
  4. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (6 May 2019). "12 new projects will finally show us how Facebook is changing democracy". The Verge.
  5. ^ "Funders Are Ready To Pull Out Of Facebook's Academic Data Sharing Project". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  6. ^ Ingram, Mathew (Fall 2019). "Silicon Valley's Stonewalling". Columbia Journalism Review. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
  7. ^ "Public statement from the Co-Chairs and European Advisory Committee of Social Science One". Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  8. ^ Doctorow, Cory (12 December 2019). "Facebook promised to provide academics data to study disinformation, but their foot-dragging has endangered the whole project". Boing Boing.
  9. ^ Leetaru, Kalev (12 April 2018). "Is Facebook's New Academic Initiative Even More Frightening Than Its Own Research?". Forbes.
  10. ^ Leetaru, Kalev (May 13, 2019). "Facebook And Social Science One: The Academics Are Rushing To Mine Our Private Data". Forbes.
  11. ^ Silverman, Craig (August 22, 2019). "Facebook Said It Would Give Detailed Data To Academics. They're Still Waiting". BuzzFeed News.
  12. ^ Stewart, Emily (1 May 2019). "Facebook is sharing data to figure out how it messes with democracy". Vox.
  13. ^

External linksEdit