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News agencies kept out as Facebook blocks third-party tools

facebook blocks third party tools

In a stringent move, Facebook has blocked third-party ad transparency and digital marketing tools that news agencies and nonprofits use. Facebook claims that it’s putting forth efforts to prevent malicious disasters of data scraping. Facebook has inserted a code that stops the web plugins from collecting the data from its platform.

Once the plugins were disabled, third-party tools couldn’t collect information about political advertisements. It also disabled why a particular ad was shown to a particular user. A JavaScript code prevents systems from automating the clicking of the “Why am I seeing this?” option under sponsored posts.

The move may seem to lock out journalists and other freelancers away from information, although Facebook claims that isn’t the intention. Rob Leathern, the VP of product at Facebook took to Twitter to explains that the company is trying to prevent “people’s data from being misused — our top priority. Plugins that scrape ads can expose people’s info if misused.”

The Cambridge Analytica rocked Facebook and has forced the company to take stringent steps. But blocking journalists and other nonprofits isn’t going to help its public image. Leathern further added, “we know we have more to do on the transparency front - but we also want to make sure that providing more transparency doesn't come at the cost of exposing people's private information.”

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