April 1, 2024 | AFP

Meta’s decision to shut down CrowdTangle, “grave step backward for social media platform transparency”

ISD’s Director of Research, Melanie Smith, spoke to Agence France Presse (AFP) about Meta’s decision to decommission its digital monitoring tool CrowdTangle in 2024, a crucial election year worldwide and just three months before the US presidential elections.

For years, CrowdTangle has offered researchers and journalists a real-time window into harmful activities taking place on Meta-owned platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Melanie explained how shutting down this monitoring tool represents “a grave step backward for social media platform transparency.”

Melanie also emphasised the timing of this decision and the impact it could have around the world in a year where almost half of the global population is expected to cast a ballot. In previous election years, CrowdTangle was used to identify disinformation, foreign interference and extremist mobilisation. “Cutting off access to CrowdTangle will severely limit independent oversight of harms,” she said.

This article was syndicated and published on Yahoo! News, LeMonde, France24, the Japan Times, Digital Journal and other outlets.