Researchers from the News and Research Media Centre at the University of Canberra have been announced as the only Australian recipients of a $75,000 grant to analyse Facebook data.
The Social Science Research Council, based in the US, selected the team led by Dr Sora Park as one of several worldwide to take part in the Social Science One program where they will receive access to the data.
The study, Framing and Sharing News on Social Media, will focus on mapping how Australians access and share news on social media, and how Facebook users respond and react to that information.
This newly announced arrangement comes off the back of almost two years of negotiations with Facebook.
“Facebook has never released any data to show the quantity and type of news people see on Facebook,” said Dr Park.
“Now, we will be able to use this new data to measure how traditional sources of news compete with newer news outlets.
“We endeavour to map out the kind of information people are inclined to share and see what proportion of that is actually news, rather than interesting stories.”
For the program, Facebook and Social Science One are using multiple layers of privacy protection and have adopted a differential privacy model.