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Facebook Releases Postponed Content Transparency Report After Criticism It Wasn't Transparent

Facebook Releases Postponed Content Transparency Report After Criticism It Wasn't Transparent

Facebook late Saturday released a report (.pdf) about its most-viewed posts in the first quarter of 2021, which were initially shut down allegedly because it made the company look bad.

As first reported by the New York Times, which obtained a copy of the Q1 report before it was released by Facebook, the most-viewed links on Facebook between January and March of this year was an updated news story that suggested Was given that was given to a Florida doctor. may die. Can be linked to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Facebook's policy communications manager Andy Stone tweeted Saturday that the criticism Facebook received for not releasing the report was "not unfair," but sought to address the complexities of handling the most-viewed links. tried:

The news outlet wrote about a South Florida doctor who died. When the coroner released the cause of death, the Chicago Tribune added an update to its original story; The NYTimes did not. Would it have been right to delete the Times story because it was COVID misinformation?" Stone tweeted: "Absolutely not. No one is really suggesting this and neither am I. But it makes clear how difficult it is to define misinformation. "

Stone said Facebook withheld the January-March report "because there were significant improvements to the system we wanted to build." He didn't elaborate on those improvements, but did tweet a link to the Q1 report.

What Facebook released on August 18 was a report showing the most viewed content in public news feeds from April to June, its second quarter. It paints a great picture of the company; The most viewed post in Q2 was a word puzzle that invited users to choose the first three words they saw. The second most-viewed Facebook post between April and June asked users over the age of 30 to post a picture of themselves looking younger. The most visited domains include YouTube, UNICEF, Spotify and CBS News. A GIF of a kitten and a UNICEF response page to India's COVID-19 crisis were among the top ten most-viewed links in Q2 on Facebook.

It's not entirely clear why Facebook decided to release these reports of popular content, but there has been increasing criticism of the platform for its handling of misleading COVID-19 information in recent weeks. The Biden administration has urged Facebook and other social media platforms to do a better job of tackling misleading or misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines on their sites.

Another potential impetus for Facebook's new "Transparency" report is probably the work of New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose, who last year used Facebook-owned content analytics platform CrowdTangle to list daily lists of the top-performing US Facebook Pages. had to have. began to compile and publish. This often included pages dedicated to former President Trump and right-wing pundits like Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino. The lists were reportedly a source of irritation for Facebook.

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