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How do I request data from social media platforms?

Before participating in the study, please request your data directly from Facebook and/or WhatsApp. You can donate data from both platforms. If you only want to donate data from one platform, please select the platform that is more important to you. Please take a close look at the corresponding instructions, as they contain important information for the further steps.

What type of device should I use?

We recommend using a computer for WhatsApp donations. In addition, you need your smartphone, on which you use WhatsApp, to send the data to the computer. Please make sure that you are storing the data on a device that no one but you has access to.

Which chats should I choose?

From time to time most people discuss important matters with others and we need people we can rely on for help. They may be family, friends, or people who have really helped you - we are interested in the chats with the people you are most likely to talk to about really important things in your life.

Please select 5-7 chats with people with whom you discuss important things in your life (group chats are also possible).

How can I delete my data from my device?

We strongly recommend that you delete your original data (chat files) from your computer and from your e-mail system (inbox and sent) after completing the donation. Note that simply deleting the files may not be enough to permanently remove the data from your device. Further information on the permanent deletion of files can be found on the website of the University of Michigan.

This is the chat export process on an iPhone. For other devices, the necessary steps may be slightly different.

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. Select "Mail" (envelope) and send the mail with the attached chat file to yourself. Please only send from/to a secure mail service (e.g. university mail address). Alternatively, you can send the files to your computer via Bluetooth.

  7. Download the chat file from the email to your computer. If your chat was exported in a zip file, you will need to unzip it so that only text files remain.

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

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

What type of device should I use?

Please make sure that you are storing the data on a device that no one but you has access to. Because the amount of data for Facebook data donations can be quite large, we recommend using a computer.

How long does the data export from Facebook take?

The data is requested with just a few clicks on Facebook (see the instructions below). You will receive a notification from Facebook as soon as the data is available for download and can then start participating in the study.

How can I delete my data from my device?

We strongly recommend that you delete your original data after completing the donation. Note that simply deleting the files may not be enough to permanently remove the data from your device. Further information on the permanent deletion of files can for example be found on the website of the University of Michigan or wethegeek.com and appletoolbox.com.

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.

If you have received your data using these instructions, you can now start with the declaration of consent and the first questionnaire of the study. Afterwards you can donate your data.

Do you have your data ready?

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