Isobel Asher Hamilton on the demand by scientist to see internal research:
An international coalition of more than 300 scientists working in the fields of psychology, technology, and health have published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, asking the Meta CEO to open his company's doors to outside researchers who need to investigate the effects of Facebook and Instagram on child and teen mental health.
This is part of the problem with Facebook. The conclusions and opinions all boil down to “we think it does this”. We all know that Facebook knows, it has all the data, but it hides it away so everyone external has to guess. The company is the only one that knows what it is doing, both in terms of changes to its platform and the effects on its users, so there is no oversight.
Sure, it’s a public company, it can’t be expected to always acts in the population's best interest, and that is precisely why we need to be able to see inside.
This recent request for research into the harm of its platforms is unlikely to go anywhere. Facebook religiously blocks attempt to study digital harm on it platform, inclusive requests from ProPublica and New York University to name a few. The PR fallout from any absolute research would be sure to set a fire under the platform that would burn it to the ground, and clearly they already know the outcome.