I contract to a social media management company who was having intermittent access problems to Facebook’s graph API. A few of their clients could not get their data into this company’s software that I was maintaining for them. Instead of the API returning valid JSON with the page’s public data, it was returning “false”. There was no error code, no error description, not even a fail whale.
After some searching, I was able to determine that if there are any restrictions placed on the page, like age or country, no public data is returned to a graph API call unless you supply your access_token. By adding the access token to the URI, all the expected data appeared and the mystery was solved.