Facebook executive Mary deBree to discuss social media as Poynter Fellow

A graphic combining Facebook's "thumbs-up" icon and the logo for YHACK hackathon.

Mary deBree, head of the content policy team at Facebook, will discuss “Facebook: Building an Informed Community” at the annual YHACK hackathon as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

The event will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 at Payne Whitney Gym, 70 Tower Pky.

DeBree’s team at Facebook focuses on the construction and definition of the website’s content policies, determining what content the company allows to be published. She addresses many issues, ranging from freedom of expression, to hate speech, to counter-terrorism.

Before her time at Facebook, deBree served at the Department of State and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Secretary John Kerry. She previously contributed to then Senator Clinton’s campaigns as the New York director of outreach in 2006 and 2008. DeBree’s overseas experiences include studying in Vietnam as a Fulbright Scholar and working for the International Rescue Committee in Uganda. A graduate of Skidmore College, she received her master’s degree in international affairs from Georgetown University.

DeBree’s speech at YHACK will discuss information integrity in the self-expressive world of the Internet and Facebook. She will address both the benefits of an increased diversity of ideas through social media platforms, such as Facebook, as well as the necessity of such platforms to uphold the integrity of accurate information in order to contribute to a healthy digital media ecosystem.

YHACK is an international three-day hackathon hosted by Yale. Participants from around the world gather in groups to engage in activities, eat, drink, and develop innovative technological applications. Prizes are awarded by internationally recognized sponsors.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are Walter Robertson, Susan Glasser, and Bret Stephens.

Social Sciences