Disclaimer: We may earn a commission if you make any purchase by clicking our links. Please see our detailed guide here.

Follow us on:

Google News

FB Interfering With Their Tools to Study News Feed: Report

Meet the voice behind Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), a storyteller navigating the currents of global events with precision and depth. Crafting narratives that bridge cultures, IANS brings you the pulse of the world in every word

Join the Opinion Leaders Network

Join the Techgenyz Opinion Leaders Network today and become part of a vibrant community of change-makers. Together, we can create a brighter future by shaping opinions, driving conversations, and transforming ideas into reality.

According to a new report, tech giant Facebook has quietly pushed out changes to News Feed that are “interfering” with the browser-based tools used by journalists and researchers.

According to The Markup, Facebook has been adding “junk code to HTML features meant to improve accessibility for visually impaired users.”

The resulting code prevents browsers from automatically collecting data about posts in News Feed and may also be hindering screen readers used by blind and visually impaired users, citing The Markup, Engadget reported on Tuesday.

The change has affected both The Markup’s Citizen Browser and New York University’s Ad Observer, a browser extension that has helped researchers study political ads and vaccine misinformation.

The report said that these types of browser-based tools have become increasingly important to researchers trying to study issues like ad targeting and misinformation.

Researchers say these tools, which allow users to make the posts from their feeds available to academics and journalists, are one of the only ways to access important data about how News Feed works.

Laura Edelson, a lead researcher at NYU’s Cybersecurity for Democracy, which runs Ad Observer, said Facebook’s changes “had the effect of breaking Ad Observer.” However, they were able to find a workaround.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company was “investigating” the claims.

“We constantly make code changes across our services, but we did not make recent code changes to block these research projects,” the spokesperson said.

“Our accessibility features largely appear to be working as normal, however, we are investigating the claimed disruptions,” the spokesperson added.

Join 10,000+ Fellow Readers

Get Techgenyz’s roundup delivered to your inbox curated with the most important for you that keeps you updated about the future tech, mobile, space, gaming, business and more.


Partner With Us

Digital advertising offers a way for your business to reach out and make much-needed connections with your audience in a meaningful way. Advertising on Techgenyz will help you build brand awareness, increase website traffic, generate qualified leads, and grow your business.

Power Your Business

Solutions you need to super charge your business and drive growth

More from this topic