Meta sets a date for killing off CrowdTangle

CrowdTangle saw its team disband in 2021, new user registrations stopped in 2022, and now the site will officially shut down on August 14th. The Wall Street Journal reports. Journalists and scholars have used CrowdTangle to study the flow of content on Facebook and Instagram, including conspiracy theories and fake news. Meta, which one bought the company in 2016given that the social media conglomerate has been the source of many of its failures, choosing to shut down the company is a completely surprising move.

A tool called Meta Content Library will replace it CrowdTangle, but may only be used by academics and non-commercial researchers. That’s right — for-profit news organizations can’t apply for access to what sounds like a watered-down version of CrowdTangle. Meta claims that its Content Library is the company’s answer to the European Union Digital Markets Act — has new features such as public comment data and content search based on views. However, early testers found it lacked geo-based activity data or the ability to download data from public posts.

Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg certainly benefit from limiting how much people, especially reporters, can do their work. We recently published Dive deep into Zuckerberg’s dangerous decisions, including defying the warnings of experts and personally intervening to prevent Instagram’s ban on plastic surgery filters. Other horrors under his watch include Instagram’s content-promoting recommendation algorithm represents child sexual abuse and routinely denying top lieutenants’ requests to further prioritize security. His lawyers then argued in court that he should not be held liable for claims related to the damage caused by the Meta platforms.

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