In the fall of 2021, members of the U.S. Congress and hundreds of Western journalists obtained access to a collection of internal Facebook documents. The trove of research reports, proposals, presentations, and employee conversations would form the foundation for dozens of news stories describing Facebook’s own awareness of the real-world harms that resulted from its relentless pursuit of its users’ attention.
Whistleblower Frances Haugen—a former member of the Civic Integrity team at the company now called Meta—shared the cache of more than 1,300 documents that would come to be known collectively as the Facebook Papers. She would go on to testify before Congress as to their implications. Lawmakers would grill Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri about them as well.
In November 2021, Gizmodo partnered with a group of independent experts to review, redact, and publish the Facebook Papers. This committee serves to advise and monitor our work and facilitate the responsible disclosure of the greatest number of documents in the public interest possible. We believe in the value of open access to these materials. Our collective goal is to minimize any potential harms that could result from the disclosure of certain methods by which Meta tackles sensitive issues like sex trafficking, disinformation, and voter manipulation. The documents, which have not previously been published, additionally contain both personal and private details about low-level Facebook employees and many of the users included in the company’s studies and internal discussions. The risks associated with publishing this information outweighs the value of disclosure.
That review committee includes Laura Edelson, PhD candidate in computer science at New York University; Damon McCoy, associate professor in computer science and engineering at NYU; Daniel Kahn Gillmor, a senior staff technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology division; Pri Bengani, senior research fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism; Ethan Zuckerman, associate professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Michael Zimmer, associate professor in computer science at Marquette University.
This page will serve as a table of contents organizing every document Gizmodo has published to date along with a record of when we published them. We have categorized the documents by topic, redacted and reviewed them multiple times, and released them in batches. Additional documents, which require greater scrutiny for privacy or security reasons, will be added in the future.
Election 2020 Documents
Papers About the Jan. 6 Capitol Attack
- Mission Control Post Jan 6th IPOC
- CTO Mike Schroepfer’s Jan 6th post
- Jan 6th Freedom of Expression Survey
- Facebook Insurrection Redacted for Congress enclosures (Part 1)
- Facebook Insurrection Redacted for Congress enclosures (Part 2)
- Employee Post: Rhetoric of Violence
Papers Describing the Election-Related Task Force Monitoring “Complex Financial Organizations”
Papers Describing Election-Related Pages, Posts, Etc.
- User Engagement on Civic Content
- Where do top civic pages get their audiences from
- Understanding the Impact of Political Content on Facebook Experience and Sentiment
- Political Content on Facebook (Part 1) Understanding Consumer Experiences and how Facebook Can help
Internal Election-Related Research
- User Perspectives on Facebook’s Voter and Census Disenfranchisement Policy
- Adding civic users to XCheck (Cross Check)
Internal Election-Related Proposals
- May 2020-Alternative Responses
- Civic Disenfranchise - Interference, Demobilization, Interference
- Sociographic Segments may be impactful for hate speech and voter suppression
Internal Election-Related Explainers
Election-Related Platform and Product Updates
- 2020 Election Integrity Lockdown
- SEV Civic Non-Recommendable Groups
- Write Up On Civic Non-Recommendable Groups SEV
- 2020 Crisis Pillar Detection Product Lookback
- Civic Targeted Risk Scores
- Top-N Integrity
- Update on political publishers
- Proposal to reset White House Instagram over hostile followers
- Groups before election
- Elections Workshop Agenda 2019
Ranking-Related Platform and Product Updates
Papers Discussing “Demotions” in Feeds
- Has Disaster Been Averted?
- Demotions from Community Review Are Low Accuracy in Prevalence
- This Note May Not Reach Many People: Driving Demotions Transparency Through Product Interventions
- Demotions Transparency Does Not A Priori Increase Legitimacy
- Policy Input on ARC (At-Risk Country) Demotions
- Issues with Restrictions/Demotions on Palestinian Content
- What Does It Mean to Have a Voice?
- Demoting Troll-Like Comments
- Integrity Tradeoffs
- DMARS H2 Plan (WIP)
- [LAUNCH] Replacing Downstream Impact for Civic and Health
- Project Brief: Reduce Audit V2
- Downside Metrics: Viewer-Side Collateral Damage Measures
- Demotion Strategies for High-Quality Integrity Signals\
Papers Discussing “Meaningful Social Interactions” (MSI)
- MSI Metric Note Series
- The Meaningful Social Interactions Metric Revisited: Part 2
- The Meaningful Social Interactions Metric Revisited: Part 4
- The Meaningful Social Interactions Metric Revisited: Part 5
- Meaningful Social Interactions Useful Links
- MSI Documentation
- Evaluating MSI Metric Changes with a Comment-Level Survey
- Surveying The 2018 Relevance Ranking Holdout
- Overview of MSI + Pages and Survey Research
- Is Multi-Group Picker “Spammy?”
- Filtering Out Engagement-Bait, Bullying, and Excessive Comments From MSI Deltoid Metric
- [LAUNCH] Using p(anger) to Reduce the Impact Angry Reactions Have on Ranking Levers
- Planned MSI Metric Changes in 2020
- MSI Metric Changes for 2020 H1
- Should We Reduce the MSI Weight of Sticker Comments?
- Max Reshare Depth Experiment
News Feed Documents
- The Surprising Consequences to Sessions and MSI Caused by Turning Off Video Autoplay on News Feed
- One-Go Summary Post for Recent Goaling and Goal Metric Changes for News Feed
- News Feed UXR Quarterly Insights Roundup
- What Happens If We Delete Ranked Feed?
- News Feed Research: Looking Back on H2 2020
- Content from “Political” Pages in In-Feed Recommendations
- Political Content in In-Feed Recommendations (IFR)
- In-Feed Recommendations HPM —April 15 2021
May 2, 2022: Thirty-seven documents relating to the Facebook’s ranking practices were published.
April 18, 2022: Twenty-eight documents relating to the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump, and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot were published.
Check back for updates.