Citizen Browser at The MarkUp: “Our interactive dashboard, Split Screen, gives readers a peek into the content Facebook delivered to people of different demographic backgrounds and voting preferences who participated in our Citizen Browser project.
Using Citizen Browser, our custom Facebook inspector, we perform daily captures of Facebook data from paid panelists. These captures collect the content that was displayed on their Facebook feeds at the moment the app performed its automated capture. From Dec. 1, 2020, to March 2, 2021, 2,601 paid participants have contributed their data to the project.
To measure what Facebook’s recommendation algorithm displays to different groupings of people, we compare data captured from each over a two-week period. We look at three different pairings:
- Women vs. Men
- Biden Voters vs. Trump Voters
- Millennials vs. Boomers
We labeled our panelists based on their self-disclosed political leanings, gender, and age. We describe each pairing in more detail in the Pairings section of this article.
For each pair, we examine four types of content served by Facebook: news sources, posts with news links, hashtags, and group recommendations. We compare the percentage of each grouping that was served each piece of content to that of the other grouping in the pair.
For more information on the data we collect, the panel’s demographic makeup, and the extensive redaction process we undertake to preserve privacy, see our methodology How We Built a Facebook Inspector.
Our observations should not be taken as proof of Facebook’s choosing to target specific content at specific demographic groups. There are many factors that influence any given person’s feed that we do not account for, including users’ friends and social networks….(More)”.