Office of Undergraduate Research

The Zuckerberg Files: How Facebook Talks about Privacy

The Zuckerberg Files (http://zuckerbergfiles.org/) is a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. It includes over 125 full-text transcripts and bibliographic data of all publicly-available content from 2004-2014 representing the voice and words of Zuckerberg, including blog posts, letters to shareholders, media interviews, public appearances and product presentations, and quotes in other sources. 60 video files are also available for downloading. The dominance of social networking sites, such as Facebook, in contemporary life sparks unique issues of information privacy and the ethics of sharing online. By gaining a better understanding of how Facebooks founder and CEO conceives of his own companys role in the policy and ethical debates surrounding social networking, we will be better suited to critically engage in a dialogue on privacy and Facebook, inform design and policy recommendations, and increase user awareness and literacy. Current needs: the project archive needs updating for 2015-2016.

Tasks and responsibilities:

The primary task will be to assist with updating The Zuckerberg Files archive to include content from 2015-2016. Through this project, the student can expect to engage with contemporary issues in information policy & ethics: social networking, information sharing, surveillance, and privacy. The student will also learn research skills related to the collection of primary source material, the construction of archives, and the analysis of texts. Student will assist in development of a framework for the collection and storage of source material; engage in intensive data acquisition including searching the Internet, news databases, financial documents for all public comments attributable to Mark Zuckerberg; and assist in the data entry/transcription of Zuckerberg text into a database system for qualitative and quantitative analysis.