Meta to replace widely used data tool — and largely cut off reporter access

CrowdTangle, a source for embarrassing articles about Facebook and Instagram, has been used to track conspiracy theories, viral content


Meta Platforms plans to shut down a data tool long used by academic researchers, journalists and others to monitor the spread of content on its Facebook and Instagram services, the company said on Thursday.

The social-media giant said it will decommission CrowdTangle in five months and is replacing it with a tool called the Meta Content Library, which will be available only to academic and nonprofit researchers, not to most news outlets.

CrowdTangle has been widely used by journalists, researchers and regulators seeking to understand social-media platforms and studying the viral spread of content including false information and conspiracy theories. Reporting based on data that the tool produced often caused frustration for Meta’s leaders, who have been gradually limiting the tool in recent years.

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