New York Times didn't know about columnist David Brooks's work for Facebook

New York Times didn't know about columnist David Brooks's work for Facebook
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New York Times columnist David Brooks did not inform his editors of his work for Facebook, BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

Brooks wrote a 900-plus word column titled “Building trust through online communities” posted on Facebook’s blog Tuesday, BuzzFeed stated, and also appeared on a Facebook-produced video panel hyping a study funded by the company.

“David’s editors were not aware of the blog post or panel discussion,” the paper told BuzzFeed.


Brooks did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Hill and also did not respond to BuzzFeed for their story.

New York Times spokespeople also did not immediately respond to requests for comment by The Hill but told BuzzFeed that Brooks was not compensated for the blog or his appearance on the panel.

For the column, Brooks was listed as a New York Times columnist and founder of the Aspen Institute’s Weave Project. A spokesperson for Aspen told BuzzFeed that the Weave Project receives some of its funding from Facebook.

A Facebook representative declined to comment to The Hill about the column though he did confirm Brooks was not paid for the post. A Facebook spokesperson also confirmed to BuzzFeed that it does financially support the Aspen Institute.

Brooks’s editors at the Times are “discussing with him now what additional steps he might take to make sure that his work with the Weave project doesn't create any appearance of conflicts with his Times journalism,” New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told BuzzFeed.

Brooks writes about "politics, culture and the social sciences" every Tuesday and Friday for the Times and also appears on “PBS NewsHour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press” as a commentator, according to a brief biography accompanying his work on the Times website.