Facebook Transparency

Project Type



Screenshot of the FB Transparency website homepageScreenshot showing charts and data related to sensitive content enforcementScreenshot showing data and UI related to internet disruptionsScreenshot showing data and UI related to bullying and harassment


The Facebook Transparency team needed a completely rebuilt website which would allow them to "properly communicate their efforts in enforcing policies, responding to data requests and protecting intellectual property, while monitoring dynamics that limit access to Facebook products".

The website represents data from multiple distinct internal teams at Facbook and would become a reference for many national and international media outlets during a time in which Facebook was under insense political pressure.


My specific contributions to this project included:

  • Wrote the web controllers and established the Facebook CMS strucutre with Hack and XHP
  • Set up the data model in Facebook's entity framework
  • Helped build UI components in React and Flux
  • Trained PRPL engineers on Facebook's web stack

This was one of the most challenging projects I've worked on in my career, and it wasn't because of the techology being used or the features that needed to be built. This project occurred while Facebook was under intense pressure from the US government and international media following the "Russian Ads" scandal. There were times where Facebook team members were absent because they were testifying at Congress in DC. This created a very high-pressure atmosphere amongst the project team so working efficiently with clarity was a constant struggle.

Given that there were a slew of stakeholders, I spent a lot of time planning and constructing a data model in their entity framework that would fit all use cases and allow them to publish JSON data in these reports on a quarterly basis. There was a lot of careful attention paid to field names and labels as all data needed to be unambiguous and accurate so as not to give misleading impressions to users.

With the amount of back-and-forth that was occuring on Facebook's end, I quickly identified that our timeline was not going to work without adding additional resources, both on PRPL's side and Facbook's side. This meant that while I was working on building features I had to also train fellow engineers on Facebook's web stack, something they had minimal experience with at that time. Thankfully this paid off because these particular engineers brought some much needed energy to the project. Facebook also added an engineer on their end who validated my technical plans and timliene concerns which gave the Facebook team more confidence in our direction.

From that point on, everything came together! Everyone rallied emotionally, features popped into place, and pages were audited and approved by the various internal teams at Facebook. The execution of the features seemed like a minor affair after all the trials and tribulations during design and planning.


Though this was an extremely challenging project with lots of bumps in the road, I value the experience greatly. It taught me a lot about working around my limitations and knowing when to seek help. I learned that building confidence with the client is paramount in this type of high-pressure environment.

The website was launched, tequila was poured, and press releases were issued. Mark Zuckerberg posted about it and international media outlets fast-followed with their own thoughts and articles. Google "Facebook Transparency Report" to see for yourself!

I'm happy to have been part of a project that increased the transparency of the largest social media entity on the planet.