On Friday, members of Facebook’s Open Research and Transparency team held a conference call with researchers studying misinformation. And they apologized for giving them flawed, incomplete data for their work examining how users interact with posts and links on its platform.
The researchers were relying on the Facebook provided data. Some of them may have lost months or even years of their work.
Years of access to Flawed Data
The academics have been receiving and using the data for a couple of years. The Facebook ORT team was giving access to its data in order to track the spread of misinformation on its platform. It has promised researchers transparency and access to all user interactions, in an effort to get valid results.
The data that the social media giant has been providing only includes about half the interactions of US users. And the data they received from outside the US is flawed.
To make matters more complicated, most of the user interactions that were included in the shared reports are of more political people. The users who engage with political posts often have a political preference and are less likely to be influenced.