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I read it on facebook

Finished activity

How and in which way is Facebook reshaping news that the general public is exposed to ?

The agenda-setting role of media was essential to the framing of public opinion. With social media, each individual can now easily select his own source of information and in turn, influence his greater circle of friends. "I read it on facebook" will focus on French presidential and legislative elections and measure two types of audiences for every French news outlet during this period.



Social media (and Facebook in particular) have been fiercely criticized for participating to the propagation of misinformation. A certain number of studies have studied information cascades in social media but a more comprehensive and synthetic description of the type of media outlets and the type of news stories that are preferentially discussed on Facebook is still lacking. Traditional media may have lost its privilege as agenda-setters on social networks. However this project aims at measuring the extent to which conversations on Facebook are disconnected from the media agenda in the open web.

Objective and methodology

“I read it on facebook” aims to produce innovative insights about the circulation of news on Facebook, and more about the structure of the digital space at large. Data as captured by the mediacloud platform and the estimated audience of each story with its popularity on Facebook will be systematically compared.

As such,I read it on Facebook is closely related to the larger project of unveiling the structure of the digital public space. Facebook URL Shares dataset will offer the opportunity to understand which news outlets are capturing the attention of the general public and which kind of news story is likely to get viral in this conversational space.


I read it on Facebook  has been selected by SSRC as part of the first cohort of Social Media and Democracy Research grants. The grant, in partnership with Social Science One is including an access to the URL share dataset and the Crowdtangle api.