Facebook, afraid of public outcry, has hidden a previous report on popular posts : Facebook had prepared a similar report in the first three months of the year, but management has never shared it with the public
When Facebook this week released its first quarterly report on the most watched posts in the United States, Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity, said the social network has taken “a long way” to “become the most transparent online platform.” very much prone to innocent content like recipes and good animals.
Facebook had prepared a similar report in the first three months of the year, but management has never shared it with the public due to concerns that it would look unfair to the company, according to internal emails sent to management and shared with The New York Times.
In that report, a copy of it was given to the Times, the most frequently viewed link was a news item with a headline suggesting that the coronavirus vaccine was flawed in a Florida doctor’s death. The report also revealed that the Facebook page of The Epoch Times, an anti-Chinese newspaper that spreads views of right-wing groups, was the 19th most popular page on the platform in the first three months of 2021.
The report came as a public outcry at which some executives, including Alex Schultz, vice president of analytics and Facebook’s chief marketing officer, argued it could create a public relations crisis, according to internal emails. The company decided to put it on the shelf.
“We thought the report would have appeared in public ahead of time,” said Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, “but as we knew it would get attention, as we saw this week, there was a revision of the plan we wanted to make.”
Stone said Schultz had called for the report to be released but eventually agreed to the suspension.
Facebook did not say why it decided to produce a publicity report, but did face growing scrutiny of the information it shared with government and the public, especially false information about the virus and vaccines. Criticism has increased as cases from the delta variety of coronavirus are on the rise. White House urged the company to share more information on false and misleading information in the area, and to do a better job of preventing its spread. Last month, President Joe Biden accused the company of “killing people” by allowing false information to spread widely, a statement obtained by the White House later. Some state agencies have accused Facebook of withholding sensitive information.
Facebook has backtracked, publicly accusing White House of removing the company from the company for failing to meet its vaccination goals. Officials on Facebook, including Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, said the forum had angrily erased COVID-19’s erroneous information since the epidemic began. The company said it had removed more than 18 million pieces of misinformation at the time.
Brian Boland, former vice president of product marketing on Facebook, said there was a lot of reason to doubt the information collected and released by a company with a history of protecting its interests.
“You can’t trust a company-sponsored report that is designed to combat the media issue rather than the obvious,” Boland said. “It is in the hands of the regulators and government officials to bring us that transparency.”
In this week’s report, which touches on social content viewed on Facebook’s News Feed from April 1 to June 30, popular links include local news, the GIF cat and the Green Bay Packers alumni website. Popular posts, seen by dozens of accounts, including comforting queries and questions.
Most of the company’s draft report, such as the one released by Facebook on Wednesday, showed that 20 of the most popular Facebook links in the United States contained non-political content, such as cookies and news related to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
But the rejected report included an article about a doctor’s death in Florida. The headline, from The South Florida Sun Sentinel and reprinted by The Chicago Tribune: “A‘ healthy ’doctor died two weeks after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine; The ICDC is investigating why. ”
This link was viewed by approximately 54 million Facebook accounts in the United States. Many commentators in this post have raised questions about policy safety. Twenty of the top 20 appear on public Facebook pages that regularly post anti-vaccine material on Facebook, according to data from CrowdTangle, a social media analytics company owned by Facebook. Other contributors to the issue include the Philippine Facebook pages in support of President Rodrigo Duterte, an Israeli-backed Facebook group and a page called “Just the Facts,” which described itself as “revealing the Truth even if the media would not.”
A few months later, a medical examiner’s report stated that there was not enough evidence to suggest that the vaccine had contributed to the doctor’s death. Very few people on Facebook have seen that update.
The 19th most popular social networking site in a previous report was “Trending World” by the Epoch Times, a book that promoted QAnon’s fraudulent views and spread misleading claims about voter fraud ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Epoch Times has been banned from advertising on Facebook due to its repeated violations of the platform’s political advertising policy.
Trending World, according to the report, is viewed by 81.4 million accounts, just below the 18-page most popular Fox News, which had 81.7 million content viewers in the first three months of 2021.
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