This week, Facebook finally released its transparency report from Q1 this year after executives shelved it because they feared it would make the company look bad. And it’s easy to see why: according to the report, the most-viewed link between January and March 2021 was a since-updated news story tying a Florida doctor’s death to the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Facebook, it withheld the report because there were “key changes it wanted to make” to its system. However, many experts have understandably blasted the social media giant for failing to be transparent about — of all things — its own transparency reports.
“You can’t trust a report that is curated by a company and designed to combat a press narrative rather than real meaningful transparency,” former Facebook vice president of product marketing Brian Boland told The New York Times. “It’s up to regulators and government officials to bring us that transparency.”
Facebook doesn’t have to release these reports in the first place, so it’s confusing why it made such a commitment. If the company was only going to bury results it didn’t like, why go through the charade of transparency at all?
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