Gizmodo To Publish Facebook‘s Leaked Internal Research

Frances Haugen of Facebook
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies Oct. 5 before a Senate subcommittee. (Image credit: C-SPAN)

Technology website said it will publish the Facebook internal documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former product manager for the company.

The site, which said it is the first news outlet to commit to publishing the internal research and other documents said it got them from a member of Congress — they were leaked to members of the Senate Commerce Committee.

It describes the documents as “stacks of documents containing thousands of confidential memos, chat logs and a veritable library of hidden research.”

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“We believe there’s a strong public need in making as many of the documents public as possible, as quickly as possible,” Gizmodo said. “To that end, we’ve partnered with a small group of independent monitors, who are joining us to establish guidelines for an accountable review of the documents prior to publication.” 

Those monitors are from New York University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Columbia University, Marquette University and the American Civil Liberties Union, among other organizations.

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The documents will be released in batches, with the first batch coming “as soon as possible,” Gizmodo said. The first tranche of documents will likely be primarily ones that require the least amount of vetting by its experts, given its goal of “minimiz[ing] any costs to individuals’ privacy or the furtherance of other harms while ensuring the responsible disclosure of the greatest amount of information in the public interest,” the site said.

The leak and Haugen’s testimony have led to more calls for regulating Big Tech and an investigation by state attorneys general. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.