‘Abstract: Recently leaked Facebook data included material from the platform’s internal social science research units. Given its character—and the likelihood of future whistleblowing—this case presents an opportunity for reflection on current and future academic engagement with leaked data. This contribution is grounded in the experiences of some members of a small, international team of journalism scholars, after being offered access to the leaked data by a media organization. It also describes other academic-involved initiatives—their similarities, differences, and efforts—working toward expanded access to and/or usage of this data. Rather than take a general or hardline stance on use of leaked data, this contribution emphasizes critical engagement—ethical, legal, practical—with the particulars of individual leaks. It also emphasizes the need for guidelines and mechanisms for working with leaked data, and the concomitant importance of transparency within academia about current practices. Such critical engagement should also include consideration of the positionalities, divisions, and marginalities of involved researchers and regions.’
Recommended citation: Rebekah Larsen (2022) ‘Information Pressures’ and the Facebook Files: Navigating Questions around Leaked Platform Data, Digital Journalism, DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2022.2087099.