Center for American Progress

RELEASE: More than 50 Advocacy Groups Urge Meta To Keep CrowdTangle Through Elections
Press Release

RELEASE: More than 50 Advocacy Groups Urge Meta To Keep CrowdTangle Through Elections

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and more than 50 other advocacy groups sent an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him not to phase out CrowdTangle, a critical tool for monitoring election integrity and safety.

The letter notes that CrowdTangle is used by journalists, researchers, and election observers to scrutinize the flow of information during election cycles and to help identify threats to elections, political misinformation, and incitements to violence in the United States and around the world.

“CrowdTangle has long stood as a paragon of transparency in digital platform operations, offering real-time insights into the dissemination of disinformation, hate speech, and voter suppression efforts on Facebook,” the letter says. “This tool has not only been instrumental in addressing challenges to civic discourse and democracy, but has also supported research into human rights abuses, public health crises, and more. Its imminent closure, announced without a ready or equivalent alternative, undermines the spirit of transparency and the broader needs of election monitoring.”

It is alarming that Meta has currently set CrowdTangle to discontinue operations on August 14, just ahead of the first presidential election in the United States following the historic attack on the U.S. Capitol that sought to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power. The letter calls on Meta to keep CrowdTangle fully functional past Inauguration Day through at least January 31, 2025, so it can be used to help secure the integrity of the election.

While Meta has touted the launch of the Meta Content Library for its access to all public content, that resource is a lot less useful for researchers given current restrictions on accessing and using its data. The groups are concerned that it will not be an adequate substitute for CrowdTangle by August.

Other groups signing the letter include Public Knowledge, Accountable Tech, Human Rights Campaign, and Center for Countering Digital Hate.

Read the letter here.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].

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