Minimum Viable Queries
The Minimum Viable Queries project sets out to identify the minimum amount of data social platforms need to disclose to enable effective public oversight. Minimum Viable Queries aligns with Beyond the Screen’s Duty of Care Project by providing metrics and example queries mapped to the harms and levers exposed through Duty of Care.
When social platforms are allowed to grade their own homework, it is difficult to pressure the company to change via any form of organized resistance. For example, in the summer of 2020, the first large-scale advertiser boycott of Facebook fizzled when Facebook announced they had solved hate speech on the platform. Because no one had independent data to contradict the company line, the boycott fell apart.
Minimum Viable Queries can act as a template for investors, litigators and regulators to request the data necessary from social platforms for governance and liability. Transparent access to such data will enable academic research and scrutiny, investment standards enforcement, divestment, algorithmic accountability,product liability litigation, and boycotts. This work is a crucial sister-project to Duty of Care to extend the impact of the harm and solution mapping process.