Facebook introduces a ‘Widely Viewed Content Report’ meant to offer increased transparency into what users see on its platform. But how do you measure popularity? Facebook says ‘engagement’ doesn’t tell the whole story.
Facebook has introduced a new Widely Viewed Content Report(Opens in a new window) that it claims will offer increased transparency into the kinds of content that users of its platform are most likely to see. 카지노사이트
“Transparency is part of everything we do,” Facebook said(Opens in a new window) in its announcement, “and releasing these reports is the latest step in our efforts to share data and hold ourselves accountable.” But the introduction of the report follows increased criticism of the company’s policies, especially those affecting efforts to offer additional information about how the platform is used.
The New York Times reported(Opens in a new window) in mid-July that Facebook broke up CrowdTangle, a data analytics tool that “had been running quasi-independently inside Facebook since being acquired in 2016,” because some executives at the company believed the media and researchers were using it to “dig up information [the executives] considered unhelpful.”
Specifically, Times reporter Kevin Roose created a Twitter account @FacebooksTop10(Opens in a new window) that posts “the sources of the 10 top-performing link posts by US Facebook pages every day, ranked by total interactions,” based on CrowdTangle data. Those lists are routinely filled with right-leaning individuals like Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino, as well as publishers like Fox News.
Executives wanted Facebook to “selectively disclose its own data in the form of carefully curated reports, rather than handing outsiders the tools to discover it themselves,” the Times said in July. Facebook is pitching its Widely Viewed Content report as an alternative to using CrowdTangle. 안전한카지노사이트
“Our insights tool, CrowdTangle, was built to help people get an idea of content from Pages that gets the most likes, comments and reshares,” Facebook said. “We want this data to be broadly available to people, which is why we’re publishing it directly in our Transparency Center. We see this as a complement to insights that can be found through CrowdTangle, which is primarily a tool used by publishers.”
Facebook says there’s a difference between levels of engagement (likes, comments, and reshares)—which CrowdTangle measures and @FacebooksTop10 keeps tabs on—and how many people see a post. It further differentiates between posts with and without web links. Facebook would prefer you focus on the latter two metrics; “The content that’s seen by the most people isn’t necessarily the content that also gets the most engagement,” Facebook says.
On Twitter, Roose says “more data is good,” but called(Opens in a new window) the report a “tremendously weird document” that ultimately amounts to “sending a bunch of very smart data scientists on a fishing expedition to disprove a Twitter account, [which] doesn’t feel like the best use of anyone’s time!”
When asked about the impetus for the Widely Viewed Content Report, Facebook argued that “CrowdTangle has a number of limitations. It’s primarily available to content publishers and we want this data to be available to more people. It only has a limited sample of all Pages, Groups and Accounts. And as a real-time tool building it out requires a far longer timeframe.
“This is another step on a long journey we’ve undertaken to be, by far, the most transparent platform on the internet,” the company adds. “We’re continuing to think through additional transparency features we can offer and are working to bring all our transparency products together under one umbrella through our Transparency Center.” 카지노사이트 추천
Cracking Down on Researchers
The Widely Viewed Content Report also follows the revelation that Facebook disabled the accounts of researchers associated with the NYU Ad Observatory(Opens in a new window), which allowed Facebook users to anonymously share information about the ads they see, for violating its terms of service. The company said it had to take action because of an agreement with the FTC.
But the FTC took issue with that claim, and Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Samuel Levine said in a letter to the company that “had you honored your commitment to contact us in advance, we would have pointed out that the consent decree does not bar Facebook from creating exceptions for good-faith research in the public interest.”
Just a week later, AlgorithmWatch(Opens in a new window), a German non-profit that says it’s “committed to watch, unpack and analyze automated decision-making (ADM) systems and their impact on society,” claimed it had to shut down its research into Instagram because Facebook threatened legal action. The company said in a statement that it shut down the research to protect user privacy.
All of which means that Facebook published a curated report about what’s happening on its platform just one month after the Times said its executives preferred that to having journalists and researchers gathering that data themselves, two weeks after it shut down research into its advertising, and one week after its threat to AlgorithmWatch was revealed.