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Facebook opened up data on 38 million shared URLs to researchers.

The release of the data, completed in partnership with an organization called Social Science One, comes nearly two years after the effort was initially announced.

Researchers at Social Science One worked with Facebook on the painstaking process of anonymizing the data — about URLs shared publicly on the platform — using a technique known as "differential privacy" to accommodate privacy concerns under Europe's General Data Protection Regulations and other international privacy laws. In their announcement, the co-chairs of Social Science One said they hope the dataset will give researchers "unprecedented insights into behavior and communication on social media."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated how much data Facebook was sharing, based on incorrect information published by Social Science One. The data was processed from 1 billion gigabytes of original data; it does not itself occupy 1 billion gigabytes.

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