Meta reportedly plans to shut down CrowdTangle, its tool that tracks popular social media posts

1 week ago 12

One happening researchers person utilized to way the dispersed of viral stories connected Facebook — including ones that dispersed misinformation — is simply a instrumentality that Meta owns called CrowdTangle. Based connected anonymous sources, Bloomberg reports what galore person suspected — that Facebook has mostly removed improvement enactment from CrowdTangle and is making plans to unopen the instrumentality down.

Removing CrowdTangle would propulsion entree that radical similar Kevin Roose person utilized to aboveground information showing precocious engagement with right-wing quality sources connected Facebook, listing results that sometimes look to beryllium astatine likelihood with Facebook’s curated authoritative reports. In an article past July for The New York Times, Roose described interior “data wars” astir however overmuch accusation the institution should release, with CrowdTangle laminitis and CEO Brandon Silverman arguing it should stock much data. Silverman left the institution successful October 2021.

“What information is CrowdTangle tracking?”

CrowdTangle is simply a nationalist insights instrumentality from Facebook that helps publishers, journalists, researchers, fact-checkers and much follow, analyze, and study connected what’s happening crossed societal media. We bash that by making nationalist contented from Pages, Groups, Instagram accounts, and fashionable subreddits much discoverable, and engagement information connected that content, (i.e. shares, views, comments, and reactions) casual to benignant done astatine scale. CrowdTangle does not way contented from regular Facebook profiles.

The top-performing nexus posts by U.S. Facebook pages successful the past 24 hours are from:

1. NBC News
2. Breitbart
3. NPR
4. People Royals
5. Fox News
6. allkpop
8. KOLO 8 News Now
9. Still Moments
10. TMZ

— Facebook's Top 10 (@FacebooksTop10) June 23, 2022

In a Twitter thread, Facebook’s caput of the News Feed, John Hegeman, argued that Roose’s daily Top 10 lists (compiled based connected CrowdTangle data) amusement close engagement information but “don’t correspond what astir radical spot connected FB.” He claims a amended mode to beryllium that would beryllium done information showing which posts get the astir reach, but the institution doesn’t usually stock that information directly.

When Facebook bought CrowdTangle successful 2016, it said the instrumentality could assistance publishers “surface stories that matter, measurement their societal show and place influencers.” It tracks the show of stories crossed different networks, including Instagram and Twitter. The Bloomberg report cites however elector advocacy radical Common Cause has utilized it to find misinformation successful existent clip that it has flagged to Twitter and Facebook for removal.

Today’s study says Meta began an authoritative process to unopen down the instrumentality successful February but paused it owed to the EU’s Digital Services Act push. Now it’s said to beryllium connected way for a unopen down “eventually,” with Facebook engineers already assigned to the task. A institution spokesperson told Bloomberg that CrowdTangle would stay progressive astatine slightest done this year’s midterm elections and claimed Meta has plans to supply “even much valuable” tools for researchers.

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