Facebook shut down German research on Instagram algorithm, researchers say

Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

Researchers at AlgorithmWatch say they were forced to abandon their research project monitoring the Instagram algorithm after legal threats from Facebook. The Berlin-based project went public with the conflict in a post published Friday morning, citing the platform’s recent ban of the NYU Ad Observatory.

“There are probably more cases of bullying that we do not know about,” the post reads. “We hope that by coming forward, more organizations will speak up about their experiences.”

“the company cannot be trusted”

Launched in March 2020, AlgorithmWatch provided a browser plug-in that would allow users to collect data from their Instagram feeds, providing insight into how the platform prioritizes pictures and videos. The project published…

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