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How do I request data from social media platforms?

Before beginning with the study, you must request your data from Facebook and/or WhatsApp. Please make sure that the device you request and download your data from is only accessible by you. Additionally, we recommend you delete the downloaded data from your device after the donation has been completed. Note that simply deleting the files may not be enough to permanently remove the data from your device. You can find more information on permanently deleting files for example here, here and here.

Note: The chat export function is not supported by all WhatsApp versions! Exporting and saving WhatsApp data does not work with the WhatsApp web version. Also, on different Android versions, you may not be able to store your data locally on your device.

From time to time, most people discuss important matters with other people, and we need people we can depend on for help. These can be family, friends, or people who have been really helpful to you – what we are interested in are the ones that you are most likely to talk about really important matters in your life.

Please choose 5 chats with people with whom you discuss important matters in your life (group chats are possible too). Please bear in mind that the chats can only be downloaded one after the other. Multiple selection of chats is currently not supported.

Overview of the download & donation procedure:

  1. Open WhatsApp on your smartphone.

  2. Think about which five chats are most relevant to you (e.g. close friend, partner).

  3. Pick one of the selected chats and open it.

  4. Click on the contacts name in the top center.

  5. Scroll down and click on "Export chat". A window will open. Select "WITHOUT MEDIA".

  6. Scroll down and select "Save to Files" and then "On my iPhone" or "On my device". Then click "Save" in the upper right corner.

  7. Repeat the steps 3-7 for all five chats.

The official documentation on how to download your data can be found here for iOS or Android.

Make a request to Facebook to download your Facebook data. You will receive a notification from Facebook once the data is available for download and can then start participating in the study. We recommend using a computer if donating from Facebook as the data size may be relatively large.

Overview of the download & donation procedure:

  1. Open the Facebook App on your smartphone.

  2. In the top right corner, click on the “Your Profile” button (arrowhead pointing down) and choose “Settings & Privacy”.

  3. Select “Settings”. Then select "Privacy" in the navigation bar on the left. Then click on "Your Facebook information".

  4. On the "Your Facebook information" page click on "Download profile information" and then change the format from HTML to JSON.

  5. Pick a date range: We encourage you to request the data for 2-3 years but a shorter time span is possible as well.

  6. In the interest of data minimization, please first deselect all categories. Then, tick the fields “Messages” and "Profile information".

  7. Scroll down and click on "Request a download". As soon as the file is ready for download, you will receive a notification from Facebook. This may take a while.

  8. Scroll back up and click on the "Available Files" tab. There you should see thr requested file and can download is as soon it is ready.

The official documentation on how to download your data can be found here.

It is up to you whether to donate data from both platforms. If you decide to donate data from only one, please choose the platform which is more significant to you.

Are you ready?