Thousands of Jan. 6 posts disappear from Facebook's transparency tool: 'Researchers should be pretty concerned'

A number of Facebook posts from the period around the Jan. 6 insurrection went missing from the social media service. The posts—which covered anything from personal updates to violent incitement—disappeared from the Crowdtangle transparency tool that Facebook uses to allow researchers to track what users are saying on the platform.

"If Facebook knew about this, and just didn't tell anyone, I think researchers should be pretty concerned about that fact," said Laura Edelson, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at NYU Tandon School of Engineering who was part of the team, co-led by Damon McCoy, that discovered the missing data.

"Researchers do assume that they are getting all the public content from Facebook pages that are indexed by Crowdtangle… those assumptions have been violated in this case,” said Edelson, whose account was suspended last month for her separate work around political ads.