If you’ve followed me for a while, you know one of my top priorities for 2018 in making sure Facebook prevents interference and misinformation in elections. I’ve written about a number of the steps we’re taking — from building new AI tools to take down thousands of fake accounts to verifying every political advertiser and large page admin to launching industry-leading ads transparency tools. Today we’re taking another step — establishing an independent election research commission that will solicit research on the effects of social media on elections and democracy. The goal is both to get the ideas of leading academics on how to address these issues as well as to hold us accountable for making sure we protect the integrity of these elections on Facebook. To do this, we’re working with foundations across the US to set up a committee of academic experts who will come up with research topics and select — through a peer review process — independent researchers to study them. We’ll give those researchers access to our resources so they can draw unbiased conclusions about Facebook’s role in elections, including how we’re handling the risks on our platform and what steps we need to take before future elections. They’ll share their work publicly, and we won’t require our approval to publish. You can find out more about their work and how any data we share with them will be protected here: newsroom.fb.com/?p=10426 Looking back, it’s clear we were too slow identifying election interference in 2016, and we need to do better in future elections. This is a new model of collaboration between researchers and companies, and it’s part of our commitment to protect the integrity of elections around the world. We’ll share more updates soon Published in Daily Times, April 11th 2018.