NY Times claims that this report was never published since it reflected poorly on the company. According to NY Times’ report, Facebook’s most viewed link in Q1 2021 had a headline that could promote COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, which has been an issue on social media recently. The headline read “A ‘healthy’ doctor died two weeks after getting a COVID-19 vaccine; CDC is investigating why”.
The article was published by The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
According to internal emails obtained by NY Times, Facebook was working to release this report, but Facebook’s CMO and VP of analytics Alex Schultz debated whether it could cause problems in terms of public relations and decided not to share the report.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement:
We considered making the report public earlier but since we knew the attention it would garner, exactly as we saw this week, there were fixes to the system we wanted to make.
It’s been a busy week for Facebook. In addition to publishing the report about the top-viewed posts, it has also had to contend with an amended antitrust complaint filed against the company by the Federal Trade Commission.