BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Crimson Hexagon’s Founder and Chair of the Board, Dr. Gary King, has developed an innovative model between independent academic researchers and Facebook to better understand the implications of social media and digital technologies in the world, starting with the impact of social media on elections and democracy. King’s model will enable trusted academics to gain unprecedented access to privacy-protected Facebook data to understand Facebook’s impact on upcoming elections in Mexico, India, and the United States. For more information on Facebook’s announcement, see here.
King created his new model in an effort to curb concerns about consumer privacy and election interference currently plaguing both public and private organizations. The Cambridge Analytica scandal has served as a wake-up call to many into the breadth and depth of these issues, including Facebook, which has acknowledged publicly that they were slow to recognize 2016 election interference. As a result, Facebook has engaged members of the academic community, including King, to study the impact of social media on democracy, with the goal of unearthing potential data abuses and improving the integrity of future elections. This model will provide academic researchers access to Facebook’s full breadth of private data, which has historically been unavailable to them, for social science advancement.
“Studying Facebook’s effect on elections is just the beginning,” said Dr. Gary King, Crimson Hexagon co-founder, Chair of the Board, and Harvard’s Alfred J. Weatherhead III University Professor. “This initiative will help social scientists use Facebook data in a variety of research projects without compromising the privacy of Facebook’s two billion users – and without needing pre-approval from Facebook to share their findings. This is an extraordinary opportunity to impact the greater good of society, and we’re incredibly excited to have this chance to use social media data for academic progress.”
King, along with Nate Persily of Stanford Law School, set up this model to be completely independent of Facebook, financial incentives, and political goals. In the partnership, respected scholars will form a commission that will receive access to all relevant information, then research specific areas, funded by nonprofit foundations. The commission will oversee the peer review process for funding and data access. Facebook will not review or approve research findings prior to publication.
In addition to his role in the Facebook research initiative, King also created the original algorithm behind Crimson Hexagon’s AI-Powered Consumer Insights Platform, based on his statistical social science research. King, along with Chris Bingham, CTO and EVP of Engineering for Crimson Hexagon, will be hosting a live Q&A session to discuss this research partnership and what it means for Facebook and the industry at large, on Friday, April 13 at 10:30 a.m. EST. To join the session, please sign up here.
About Crimson Hexagon
Crimson Hexagon helps global brands better understand their consumers. With instant access to the world’s largest volume of unstructured text and images across social, online public, and enterprise-held data sources, Crimson Hexagon’s AI-powered consumer insights platform allows clients to analyze audiences, track brand perception and campaign performance, and even detect competitive and market trends. Our clients include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Adidas, General Mills, Paramount Pictures, and Twitter. Find us on Twitter and on LinkedIn.