In November 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would begin developing an Oversight Board, an independent body that would review significant and difficult content decisions and issue policy recommendations. A global consultation process, involving more than 2,000 outside experts and stakeholders, has informed every step of the development of this Oversight Board.
It has also sparked a wider conversation on a variety of issues, including online speech, law and technology, digital constitutionalism, multi-stakeholderism, content moderation, content governance, journalism, applied ethics, free expression, digital rights, human rights, tech policy, and other related fields of study. This ongoing exchange of ideas will influence how Facebook develops its strategies and plans for content governance going forward.
Recognizing the importance of this ongoing conversation, Facebook launched a request for proposals aimed at funding research and advocacy work in the area of online content. This RFP received more than 140 submissions from 33 countries, including proposals from a wide range of research institutions and civil society organizations. Each proposal was reviewed by a multidisciplinary team at Facebook that included researchers as well as policy subject-matter experts.
“We were so pleased to see the volume and quality of responses to this call for proposals,” says Brent Harris, Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives. “Our team learned a great deal just from reviewing these submissions, and so we’re hopeful that the work that comes out of these awards will contribute positively to the broader conversation on content governance.”
Our team would like to thank all those who took the time to submit a proposal, and we offer our congratulations to the winners.
Research award winners
The names listed below are the principal investigators of each proposal.
A global perspective on online political discussions and toxic talk
Lukas P. Otto (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Digital constitutionalism: In search of a content governance standard
Edoardo Celeste (Dublin City University)
Evaluating the effectiveness of deplatforming as a moderation strategy
Amy Bruckman (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Facebook Groups as potentially ungoverned digital spaces
Nikki Philline C. de la Rosa (International Alert)
Global preferences for online hate speech regulation
Simon Munzert (Hertie School of Governance)
Localizing content governance in place-named Facebook Groups
Dr. Scott Rodgers (Birkbeck, University of London)
P(Healthy) != 1-P(Toxicity): Measuring healthy online behavior
Eric Gilbert (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Psychological variations in perceptions and actions towards hate content
Muniba Saleem (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Understanding user strategies for circumventing content moderation policies
Dr. Joanne Elizabeth Gray (Queensland University of Technology)
Using positionality to assess humor and power on social media
Dr. Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández (Queensland University of Technology)
What makes social media content harmful? A user-centric comparative approach
Patricia Rossini (University of Liverpool)
To view our currently open research awards and to subscribe to our email list, visit our Research Awards page.