Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) business culture is founded on the belief that users determine what they want. All tools are created for the users based on a metric of surveys, user data, and user behavior. Society values as well as daily interactions shape the way businesses work. In this regard Facebook director of research, David Ginsberg, explains that the company employs teams of researchers so as to help deliver user oriented content. By understanding how people use Facebook, the company can improve its service delivery.
It is in this spirit of understanding user behavior that Facebook has chosen to collaborate with academic researchers to further its business goals. To support this partnership, Facebook offers its researchers a stipend of $25,000 as a gift. This has been a better way for the company to support data scientists work as well as sociologists and marketers. Rob Sherman who serves in the privacy department adds that the focus of the research is mainly on product development. The Facebook in-house data science team comprises of more than one hundred doctorate-level researchers. However, the company has been hesitant to place more recruits on its research teams because of the sensitive nature of the data Facebook hold. Privacy breaches and information leaks is also a major challenge faced by Facebook following the Cambridge analytical scandal.
Facebook’s peer-reviewed papers
Facebook has written more research papers than any other company in the world. Imagine 180 papers about artificial intelligence, more than a thousand documents about entertainment and social media, as well as politics and elections. The company runs an experimental survey on 60 million people while mobilizing Congress midterm elections voters in 2010. Facebook provides rights for the researchers to access their data while at the same time reserving the right to proofread and edit a research paper before it gets published.
Facebook and elections
After the Cambridge analytical scandal, Facebook decided to dig deeper into elections and come up with metrics that explain how elections take place. As it has been with previous works, where Facebook has limited what the researchers publish. This research will not be limited, and the participants will be allowed to publish whatever they find.