Meta Faces Legal Battle Over User Control of Facebook News Feeds

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Meta Platforms Inc., Facebook’s parent company, faces a legal challenge over a federal law allowing individuals to use external tools to manage their news feed.

Meta’s Legal Battle Continues

On Wednesday, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms on behalf of an Amherst professor aiming to release a tool called Unfollow Everything 2.0

This browser extension empowers Facebook users to unfollow friends, groups, and pages, effectively clearing their newsfeeds of the algorithmically curated content that can lead to endless scrolling and addiction.

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Louis Barclay, a U.K. developer, previously released a similar tool named Unfollow Everything but removed it in 2021 due to fear of legal repercussions from Meta, accompanied by a cease-and-desist letter and a lifetime ban from Facebook.

Moreover, Ethan Zuckerman, an Amherst professor, is challenging Meta’s stance on browser extensions, arguing for users to have more control over their social network experiences, comparing it to email systems that allow users to choose different clients.

The lawsuit, based on Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, questions whether users should have the right to filter out objectionable news feed content to improve their platform experience. 

The lawsuit also aims to study how turning off the news feed impacts users’ Facebook experiences through voluntary participation in research studies, underscoring users’ rights to control their social media experiences.

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Started his freelancing adventure in 2018 and began doing freelance Audio Engineering work and then started freelance writing a few years later.

Currently he writes for Gadget Pilipinas and Grit.PH.

He is also a musician, foody, gamer, and PC enthusiast.

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