Justice Collaboratory to Lead Facebook Data Transparency Advisory Group


The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School, directed by faculty members Tracey L. Meares and Tom R. Tyler, will lead the Data Transparency Advisory Group (DTAG) — a group that will review Facebook’s measurement and transparency of content standards enforcement.

In May 2018, Facebook shared its preliminary Community Standards Enforcement Report, which published data used internally by Facebook to measure their effectiveness in enforcing its “Community Standards.” These Community Standards set rules prohibiting certain types of content from being posted on Facebook. Facebook chartered the DTAG to assess its Content Standards Enforcement Report, to provide recommendations for how to improve its measurement and reporting practices, and to produce a public report on its efforts.

“We have community standards to promote expression and keep people safe on Facebook, and it’s important that people have access to information about how we enforce these policies. We are pleased to work with the Yale Justice Collaboratory to evaluate our measurement and help us bring more transparency to our approach,” said Alex Schultz, Facebook’s Vice President of Analytics.

The DTAG members include academics from several universities who are experts in measurement and the role that metrics play in building legitimate, accountable institutions. DTAG’s goal is to ensure that Facebook is developing, and making public, information that is useful to understand and evaluate Facebook’s Community Standards enforcement practices.

To facilitate their work, DTAG members have entered into non-disclosure agreements with Facebook, which allow them to review internal information about Facebook’s processes used to generate their enforcement data, estimation assumptions, and technical constraints related to measurement of their content standards enforcement.

The Justice Collaboratory is an interdisciplinary group of scholars who work on translating social science research into evidence-based social policy and institutional design, with a particular focus on public trust in authorities and institutions. Much of the Justice Collaboratory’s theoretical work applies to social media platforms, as relations between social media platforms and members of online communities resemble relations between governments and members of ‘real-life’ communities.

As is standard for technology industry scientific advisory boards, the members of DTAG are also receiving financial compensation in the form of a pre-determined, fixed honorarium. DTAG members are not Facebook employees, and their compensation is not tied to any conclusions, assessments, or recommendations that DTAG may provide Facebook.

Members of the DTAG are:
• Ben Bradford, Professor, Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London
• Florian Grisel, Research Fellow, French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Reader in Transnational Law, King’s College London
• Tracey L. Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law, Yale Law School
• Emily Owens, Professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, and Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine
• Baron L. Pineda, Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies, Oberlin College
• Jacob N. Shapiro, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
• Tom R. Tyler, Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Yale Law School

The Justice Collaboratory brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and researchers at Yale University and elsewhere to work on issues related to institutional reform and policy innovation and advancement. The goal of the Collaboratory is to infuse theory and empirical research in order to make the components of criminal justice operation simultaneously more effective, just, and democratic.