From the report from August 18th (Q2 2021), University of Urbino associate professor Fabio Giglietto discovered the issue. His comparison of data given to researchers in the “Widely Viewed Content Report” and data the social network published in August didn’t match.
New (w/ @RMac18 assist): More than three years ago, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a plan to share Facebook data with outside researchers, so that academics could study misinformation on the site. But the data set had a major flaw. https://t.co/NSs0ZFfm2q
— Davey Alba (@daveyalba) September 10, 2021
Also, the New York Times reported that Facebook had initially shelved a report about its first-quarter because it portrayed the company in a less flattering light. But Facebook finally released the shelved report.
And in August, Facebook cut off access to researchers from New York University’s Ad Observatory project from its platform. The group’s Ad Observer browser plug-in highlighted some issues. The group was banned after researchers discovered Facebook failed to disclose some political ads on its site.
The team was using a browser extension to collect accurate information on political ads. The social network claimed it was “unauthorized scraping.”