Facebook bans a developer permanently from operating its tool on the site. The said developer made a tool that allows users to unfollow friends and groups on the platform automatically.
Facebook Bans Unfollow Everything Developer
Louis Barclay, the creator, and developer of the "Unfollow Everything" tool, wrote about his experience using the tool in an article for Slate.
He said that the feeling of unfollowing everything is "near-miraculous" and that he had lost nothing since he could still see his favorite groups and friends by going to them directly.
Barclay stated that he gained so much control over his account as he was no longer tempted to go through the News Feed.
He also said that he spent on Facebook decreased dramatically, and his addiction to the site became manageable.
The "Unfollow Everything" tool is a browser extension that lets users delete the contents of their News Feed. It enables them to unfollow all of their connections at once, according to The Verge.
The platform allows users to unfollow their friends, groups, and even pages individually. It removes their content from the News Feed. The tool automated the process and instantly cleaned the News Feed of the user.
Earlier this year, Facebook stated that it will also allow users to manipulate the News Feed.
In response, Facebook sent Barclay a cease-and-desist letter a few months ago, saying that he had violated the platform's term of service by creating software that automated user interactions, according to TechSpot.
Barclay stated that the social media company permanently deleted his Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The company also forced him to agree never to develop tools that will affect the platform or its other services.
Barclay notes that side from helping users, his tool was also used by researchers at the Swiss University of Neuchatel to study the effects of the News Feed on the user's mental health and happiness. He said that he could not risk fighting with the company in court, so he removed the tool.
Barclay's story has emerged just in time when Facebook is facing another internal issue. Frances Haugen, Facebook's whistleblower, appeared before Congress this week to testify about the company's demand for "growth," which comes at the cost of their user's well-being.
In an episode of the show "60 Minutes", Haugen said that the users are the ones paying for their profits. The documents that she leaked include internal research conducted by the company, and it shows how using Instagram creates body issues and mental health issues for teenagers.
Compared to Haugen's testimony, Barclay's story is very different. Facebook's terms of service are clear on what tools users can build, and "Unfollow Everything" violated the agreement.
However, the episode still gives the public an idea about Facebook's approach to its users and how it wants to give its users the illusion that they have control when they really don't.
The company allows users to unfollow people individually, but automating the process would make it easy to remove the News Feed, which is needed to keep coming back and filling the platform's traffic.
Barclay's tool will prevent the platform from getting any advertising revenue. This is why Barclay's tool is forbidden.
Facebook has not responded to Barclay's story.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster