How Facebook engages with stakeholders


JUL 29, 2021

Integrating stakeholder feedback into the policymaking process is a core part of how Facebook works. Though it's important we don’t overpromise, we know that what stakeholders seek above all is for their insights to inform our policy decisions.

At the heart of our approach to stakeholder engagement is private conversations, in person if we can, or by video conference. We’ve found this approach lends itself to candid dialogue and relationship-building.

We typically don't release the names of the people or organizations we engage with because these conversations can be sensitive, and we want people to feel free to be completely open with us. Some stakeholders specifically request or even require confidentiality in order to engage with us—particularly members of vulnerable communities.

We also sometimes convene group discussions, bringing together various stakeholders from particular regions or specific policy areas. We’ve found that group settings can be useful for generating new ideas and providing updates to multiple stakeholders.

On occasion, it also makes sense to reach out to people on Facebook and Instagram to get their views. For example, when we reviewed the “exclusion” element of our hate speech policy, we talked to administrators from a number of major Facebook Groups who shared their insights with us relating to this policy.

In conversations with external stakeholders, we share Facebook's thinking on the proposed policy, including what led us to reconsider a given policy, as well as the pros and cons of policy options we've identified. The feedback we receive is then integrated into the review process and shapes our ongoing deliberations.

When stakeholder views conflict, as they inevitably will, we analyze the spectrum of opinion and points of disagreement. Our task is to identify which views are most persuasive and instructive for us, but we’re not necessarily trying to reconcile every viewpoint; rather, our goal is to understand the full range of opinion about our proposals.

In some cases, we return to stakeholders for additional input, as our thinking develops.

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