Facebook has unveiled a transparency report on the social media platform's most popular posts. This comes after the company received widespread backlash for shelving it.
The report covers the most popular posts published in the United States on Facebook's public News Feed during the first quarter of the year.
Facebook Unveils Most Popular Posts Transparency Report
Facebook has revealed the previously shelved transparency report on the most popular posts made on the social media platform. Facebook has received widespread criticisms for its attempt to hide the transparency report.
The expose on the hidden transparency report was first made by The New York Times. According to The New York Times' expose, Facebook officials, including Vice President of Analytics and Chief Marketing Officer Alex Schultz, were concerned that the report would do damage to Facebook's image.
The unveiled transparency report shows that the most viewed link during the first quarter of 2021 "was a since-updated news article suggesting that the vaccine may be at fault for a Florida doctor's death," according to Gizmodo.
Per the Gizmodo report, the link totalled 54 million views during the time period.
Included in the top 20 most viewed pages on Facebook is Epoch Times, which is "a site that routinely pushes misinformation about the covid-19 pandemic and far-right conspiracies such as QAnon," according to Gizmodo.
Facebook Policy Communications Director Defends Company
We’ve been getting criticism for holding an internal report until it was more favorable for us and then releasing it. Getting criticism isn’t unfair. But it’s worth taking a closer look -- and making note of some of the components of the story.— Andy Stone (@andymstone) August 21, 2021
Facebook's Policy Communications Director Andy Stone has posted a series of tweets regarding the unreleased transparency report on his personal Twitter account.
According to Stone, while the criticism Facebook has received is not unfair, "it's worth taking a closer look - and making note of some of the components of the story."
Stone explains that the reason why Facebook held back on releasing the transparency report for the first quarter of the year is because the company wanted to make "key fixes" to its system.
"We're guilty of cleaning up our house a bit before we invited company. We've been criticized for that; and again, that's not unfair," reads one of his tweets.
The Second Quarter Facebook Transparency Report
Though it held back its transparency report for the first quarter of 2021, Facebook did, in fact, release the transparency report for the second quarter.
Facebook's transparency report for the second quarter of 2021 shows that the most-viewed post from April to June of this year is a letter scramble. The second most-viewed post prompts people over 30 years of age to post photos of themselves.
The most viewed domains on YouTube for the second quarter include YouTube, UNICEF, and Spotify.
Other most viewed content and links on Facebook for the time period include a post by U.S. President Joe Biden, a GIF of kittens, and a thread on debating whether or not adding sugar to spaghetti is okay.
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Written by Isabella James