EXPLAINER - What are "The Facebook Papers"?

The Facebook Papers Project is a collaboration between 17 American news agencies, including The Associated Press. Journalists from a variety of newsrooms, large and small, worked together to gain access to thousands of pages of internal company documents obtained by Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistleblower.

EXPLAINER - What are "The Facebook Papers"?

The same set of documents was also available to a separate European news outlet consortium. Members of both groups published content related to their analysis at 7 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, October 25th. The partner news outlets set the date and time in order to allow everyone in the consortium to thoroughly analyze the documents and report on relevant details. This also gave Facebook ample time to answer any questions or inquiries that were raised by that reporting.

Each member of the consortium reported independently on the contents and significance of each document. Each member had the chance to attend group briefings to get information and context about documents.

The Facebook Papers project was launched in the wake of similar reporting by The Wall Street Journal. It also sourced the same documents as Haugen's appearances on CBS television's "60 Minutes" and her testimony before a U.S. Senate Subcommittee Oct. 5.

These papers are redacted copies of disclosures Haugen made over many months to the Securities and Exchange Commission. They allege that Facebook was prioritizing safety over safety and concealing its research from investors.

These complaints concern a wide range of topics: from the company's efforts to grow its audience to how it might harm children to its role in inciting violence to political activism. Members of Congress are receiving the same redacted versions of these filings as part of their investigation. The redaction of the SEC filings continues by Haugen's legal staff. They remove the names of Facebook users, and lower-level employees, and turn them over to Congress.

As more documents become available, the Facebook Papers consortium will continue reporting on them.

Julie Pace, executive editor and senior vice president of AP, stated that "AP frequently teams up with other news organisations to bring important journalism into the world." This mission is carried out by the Facebook Papers project. AP retains its editorial independence in all collaborations.

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