In @benjamin74’s case, the issue was they were using get_field in a plugin but not wrapped inside an action hook – so it was executing as soon as WordPress loaded the plugin’s php file, before ACF and WordPress had initialised properly.
This “worked” prior to 5.11, but incorrectly. Because ACF had no awareness of the field, it returned the raw data from the database without any processing or formatting, or obeying any options defined on the field settings.
I’m pretty sure the only places where this can happen are in a plugin, or in a theme’s functions.php where you get_field is being called before the “acf/init” action, so ACF is not correctly loaded. In the case of functions like acf_add_options_page, or acf_register_block_type, our sample code includes the requirement to make sure acf/init has happened – but as get_field and the_field are “template” code, the vast majority of instances of their usage is in templates – where you don’t need to worry about making sure WordPress and ACF is fully initialised already – we’ll make sure the documentation is clearer about this for the future.
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