By | YEET MAGAZINE  Updated 0200 GMT (1000 HKT) August 25, 2021

The most viewed article on Facebook in the first quarter made a link between the vaccination against Covid-19 and a suspicious death, according to an internal report buried by the group, according to the "New York Times". Facebook feared bad publicity, as Joe Biden publicly questioned the role of social media.

Facebook has nearly 3 billion users around the world.
Facebook has nearly 3 billion users around the world. (AlexandraPopova / Shutterstock)

In an effort to be transparent, Facebook has published in recent days the first edition of an unprecedented report, the “Widely Viewed Content Report” , in which information is compiled on the main content viewed by users of the social network in the United States. . In this first version, Facebook details the types and origin of the most viewed content in the second quarter of 2021, the links most often displayed, the best performing pages, etc.

All these figures support an essential plea by Mark Zuckerberg's group. The one according to which flammable political content and disinformation are marginal on the platform, contrary to what its detractors claim. According to the report, 87% of the content posted in the US Facebook users' news feed is unrelated. And most of the most viewed links or the most viewed pages are those of Unicef, cooking sites or cat photos .

Disinformation vector

This transparency effort was however put into perspective on Saturday by the revelations of the “ New York Times ”. The American daily discovered that Facebook, worried about the possible repercussions on its image, had not published a first report dating from the previous quarter. The link most viewed by American users in the first three months of the year was indeed to an article suggesting that the coronavirus vaccine was involved in the death of a doctor in Florida.

"We considered making this report public earlier," said a spokesperson for the group. But as we knew the attention it was going to get - as we saw this week - there were fixes we wanted to make to the system. "

In recent weeks, US authorities have singled out Facebook as a key vehicle for disinformation on Covid-19 and vaccines. Joe Biden bluntly accused the company of "killing people" by letting false information circulate so widely. Mark Zuckerberg himself sharply refuted the White House accusations. The group insists on the colossal efforts put in place to fight against disinformation.

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