Facebook makes it easier to study marginalized groups
Facebook makes it easier to study marginalized groups

Facebook is using a new search API to make it easier for researchers to study its platform, including marginalized groups and other non-traditional movements.

The API will be launched later this year, making it easier for researchers to examine content shared on public groups and pages.

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook shut down most of its platforms after more than three years.

This makes it difficult for foreigners to study social media, and the company is now hoping to reverse the trend.

The new API enables qualified researchers to study sites, groups, and events for a US audience. This includes the body of a specific user message.

Facebook said it hides usernames and tags to protect user privacy.

In addition, researchers can also access subscriber metrics and attendance statistics for groups, events, and pages.

“This API is specifically designed for researchers,” says Chaya Nayak, head of open research and transparency at Facebook.

Compared to other search data products like CrowdTangle, the Researcher API includes public US Facebook pages, events, and data. It has nothing to do with the number of subscribers.

Facebook groups excluded:

This is important because it allows research into the development of marginalization and non-dominant movements. Instead of appearing on the platform.

Facebook's handling of marginalized groups has been a huge problem over the past year. The company was widely criticized for not shutting down QAnon despite its evolution into a local radical movement.

After the election, Facebook failed to recognize the risks of the Stop Theft campaign that contributed to the January 6 violence.

The ability to allow researchers to study smaller Facebook groups helps better prepare for dangerously marginalized groups trying to organize through its platform.

Although the new API covers only the US initially, Facebook has made it clear to expand it to other regions.

She also said, “We will also use the knowledge derived from the research in the future to imagine changes to our products.”

Over the past few years, Facebook's relationship with researchers interested in studying the platform has sometimes deteriorated.

Some researchers said it was difficult for the company to access the limited data it provided.

The social network has come under widespread criticism over the past year for trying to prevent New York University researchers from investigating the company's political advertising system.

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