Misinformation researchers reveal that data provided by Facebook is flawed and incomplete

The rise of technology and the internet over the last two decades have immensely transformed human lives. What the internet has been able to do in such a small time is surely nothing less than a revolution. A large part of the credit behind the mega internet usage goes to social media sites which since a long time have been the places users spend most of their screen time on.

These social networks surely have a large positive influence on the society as a whole, since it helps bring people and communities close to each other. While social media is a great tool, it also has its list of disadvantages, the most primary one of which is 'misinformation' that spreads quickly.

With the convenience for all kinds of people to make posts, all sorts of social media get to experience a large amount of misinformation every day. A prime example of this is the misinformation that took place after the spread of the COVID 19 virus. People soon after the global pandemic started spreading misinformation and assumptions of all kinds thus further increasing the fear surrounding the virus.

This misinformation epidemic was once again noticed when the COVID 19 vaccine came out. People on multiple social and messaging platforms came up with their own theories and misinterpretations about the vaccine thus causing people to oppose the vaccine.

A large part of this misinformation was on Facebook and the platforms it owns. This brought about a lot of negative attention on the social network, and it is still trying hard to fight the misinformation.

While misinformation on social platforms continues to prevail a large amount of researchers and fact checkers have been collecting and researching misinformation data on various platforms including Facebook. The researchers however recently reported that a large part of their work was gone to waste since Facebook to protect its reputation has since a long time been providing them wrong and incomplete misinformation data.

Facebook a few years back went onto offer academic researchers a complete access of its misinformation data so that they can study misinformation on social media. While doing so the company assured the researchers of complete transparent data and access. However, reports suggest that the social media giant have been giving half-truth data to the researchers.

Researchers reported that the data provided by Facebook contains only half of the interactions in the United States. Whereas others suggested that the platform released limited engagement data on political posts thus limiting the researchers from collecting proper data.

Facebook however gave out a statement regarding the researcher’s claims and made apologies for the inconveniences. Facebook also reported about fixing it and said that they will try to fix it soon, but that it could take up a few weeks’ time. Facebook also accepted the fact that the data they collected outside of the United States is inaccurate.


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