Facebook Receipts

This is a project of The Citizens, designed to expose Facebook’s activity in Washington D.C. and around the globe as it attempts to influence legislation and regulation.

Few months into the 118th Congress, Meta’s lobbying muscle had already moved to kill significant antitrust, privacy, and kids safety legislation, and most urgently needed reform has been on the ropes. In this online forum, the Real Facebook Oversight Board and partners expose the reach of Meta’s influence in the new Congress and launch a new, publicly-available open source research tool that exposes Facebook’s activity in Washington D.C. and around the globe. 

Introducing Facebook Receipts

In April 2023, we officially launched Facebook Receipts with a panel discussion. Moderated by the Citizens‘ founder Carole Cadwalladr, the panel was made up of prominent personalities like Rep. David Cicilline, Jason Kint, Shoshana Zuboff and Marietje Schaake, along with Facebook Receipts’ creator, Zamaan Qureshi; all of whom outlined the urgency for Congress to renew efforts to advance legislation, regulation and oversight of Meta, and the priorities that can drive real reform.

While this tool serves to bring transparency to opaque influence campaigns, I hope it also spurs elected officials around the world to reexamine their ties with these Big Tech companies and recommit to acting on behalf of their constituents.

Rep. David Cicilline

The Facebook Receipts Database

This is the first comprehensive project to aggregate Facebook’s participation in Congressional/Parliamentary hearings around the globe, how it spends its lobbying dollars, who lobbies for the company as well as a documentation of global harms and lawsuits. We primarily use data from OpenSecrets, as well as our own collated data. This is a living project and will be updated as new visualizations and more data is gathered.

You can access the research tool here.

From our research

Here are some snapshots from our launch presentation summarising some of the insights from the Facebook Receipts project.

Meta has an army of lobbyists and dollars, and a massive operation to slow accountability. But the Facebook Receipts shows that Meta is on the ropes. They are delaying the inevitable… Data is power. Our data shows how Meta is using their influence. It also shows that they might be one FOIA or one ruling away from real accountability.

Zamaan Qureshi
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