Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Zuckerberg Files?

The Zuckerberg Files is a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. It includes over 1,500 full-text transcripts and bibliographic data of all publicly-available content spanning 2004-2023 representing the voice and words of Zuckerberg, including Facebook posts, media interviews, public appearances, product presentations, and quotes in other sources. Over 275 video files are also available for downloading.

Why do we need The Zuckerberg Files?

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 Facebook’s founder and CEO conceives of his own company’s 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.

How can I access The Zuckerberg Files?

Full bibliographic and metadata for The Zuckerberg Files is available to the public here, including valid URLs to the original source material. Access to the full-text transcripts and archived video files has been password-protected in adherence with the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication“. Those wishing to gain access to the full archive should follow the instructions provided here.

Why is access to The Zuckerberg Files restricted if the content is all from public sources?

While the transcript and video content in The Zuckerberg Files is all assembled from publicly accessible, some of the content is protected under copyright. For example, the archive includes the full text of interviews with Mark Zuckerberg that were published in The New Yorker or Wired magazine.  Similarly, the video collection includes archived files captured from or and similar websites. In such cases, the original publisher owns and controls the copyright of the material. While researchers can retain their own copies of copyright-protected material for valid research purposes, making a vast collection of copyright-protected material freely available to the public without permission of the copyright holder would create legal liability for the entire project. For that reason, we have elected to follow the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication“.

But aren’t you taking public comments by Zuckerberg and putting them behind a firewall? How does that support access to information?

That’s not an accurate portrayal of what The Zuckerberg Files is. We’ve assembled publicly available content featuring Mark Zuckerberg, and created a large, centralized database and digital library to assist in research. All the meta-data, and the URLs of the original content, is openly available for anyone to browse, mine, and utilize. In this way, we’ve essentially created a portal to the existing content. In addition, we’ve created cleaned-up plain text transcripts of all the original material, and downloaded copies of the video files, both for archival and research purposes. Only these archived copies (some of which is from copyright-protected material) are protected behind access controls.

So, who can get access to The Zuckerberg Files?

While the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication” suggests that access to a collection of copyright-protected material should be limited to “scholars doing research in the relevant area,” we have typically provided access to The Zuckerberg Files to anyone making a request for a reasonable research purpose, and to members of the press.

Has anyone been refused access?

Yes, occasionally. For example, those requesting access simply due to “curiosity” or for commercial purposes have been declined access to the archive of full transcripts and video files. In such cases, we’ve suggested the requestors simply use our public database and follow the valid URLs to the original source material to achieve their goals.

Can I submit something that’s missing from The Zuckerberg Files?

Yes. We’ve worked hard at locating every public appearance or interview with Mark Zuckerberg that has been published, but we aren’t perfect. If you think you’ve identified content that is missing from The Zuckerberg Files, please contact us. We can only publish content that has been published or otherwise made public. Please do not submit any personal or private communication from Mark Zuckerberg.

Will you keep The Zuckerberg Files updated with the latest remarks by Mark Zuckerberg?

Presently, The Zuckerberg Files includes over 1,500 full-text transcripts and bibliographic data of publicly-available content spanning 2004-2022. Due to limited resources, ongoing updates for Zuckerberg’s more recent materials may be delayed.