Program on Democracy and the Internet

Facebook: Transparency & Beyond

In partnership with


From Facebook’s efforts to partner with academics and create a reputable mechanism for third party data access and independent research (King and Persily 2018) and the recent release of Facebook’s public-facing “Community Standards” (the rules that govern what the more than 2.2 billion monthly active users of Facebook are allowed to post on the site), to the expanded advertising disclosure tools built by Google for the 2018 US midterm elections, transparency is playing a major role in current policy debates around free expression, social media, and democracy. 
The goal of this project, which features Timothy Garton Ash, Robert Gorwa, and Danaë Metaxa, is to catalogue and critically assess the initiatives implemented by Facebook following the 2016 US election in a number of different issue areas, including content policy, polarization, and disinformation. What has the company done, and what can be done to make these initiatives more successful? These questions are explored through a forthcoming book chapter and report. 


  • Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • Robert Gorwa, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford
  • Danaë Metaxa, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University 



Glasnost! Nine Ways Facebook Can Make Itself a Better Forum for Free Speech and Democracy

Jan 2019
Timothy Garton Ash, Robert Gorwa, and Danaë Metaxa