Why join fbTREX?

Every facebook user can benefit from fbTREX

Want to know more about how Facebook shapes your perception?

Facebook’s personalisation algorithms have an impact on our lifestyles, priorities, moods, opinions and the decisions we make. Yet we are prohibited from understanding their mechanics and objectives.

By installing the fbTREX browser extension, you can get insights into how they present different realities to us. We, as researchers, commit to analyze social phenomena and not individual behaviour. We all need to understand how algorithms interact with us. Because of their personalized nature, and the opacity of Facebook, only with a collective distributed observation we can get a grasp.

Join us if you want to know who is informing you, which topics Facebook prefers, what is kept away from you despite your subscriptions to a page or a friend. By becoming an adopter of fbtrex, you are not just getting the insights Facebook does not offer you on your own activity, but you are also participanting in a user-driven initiative to make social media more accountable and transparent.

How to become a power user and be in control of your information diet

1. Install the fbTREX browser extension

2. Download your data

You will get a csv that contains the posts you have seen, by which sources, their content, as well as other metadata. You can either download a csv by clicking on “Your Data” above any post in Facebook or use our python library, which you can install from our github repository. Another option is to directly get your data from the API: you can read the docs here. If you decide to join the EU19 initiative, researchers will only be able to see the posts from the News Media pages that will be compared.

The csv you get when you download your data. When you share data in the context of EU19, researcher will only see the content from the sources specified in the opt-in page.
3. Make visualizations and get insights

After you have downloaded and/or transformed your data, you can visualize it using a spreadsheet software like Excel or LibreOffice Calc. You can also use Tableau, Rawgraphs.io or any other data visualization app. You can also start browsing your data in a visual way directly with our interface by clicking on “Your Data”.

Google Sheets: Count of posts per source for a user. Google Sheets: distribution of posts between sponsored/organic.
Count posts per type of post. Google Sheets: Count of posts per source (sponsored posts only).
4. (Optionally) Compare with other friends
  1. First, download your csv(s) and share them using email or any other way you can think of.
  2. Open both csv(s), select all the content of the second (excluding the first row), copy it, and paste it under your first one. You can repeat this process multiple times to concatenate more csvs.
  3. Use the resulting csv in Google Sheets or in Rawgraphs.io; The examples below are an example on how two friends can compare each other, but you can play with more visualizations.
    RAWgraphs.io: Comparison of sources per number of posts between two users (left and right), sponsored only. RAWgraphs.io: Comparison of sources per number of posts between two users (left and right), organic only.

Install the fbTREX browser extension today!

Our interest and your rights (a.k.a, privacy)

At tracking.exposed, is not our goal do business with data nor link the data to any actual individual. All the submission in fbTREX database are anonymous, and linked to a private cryptographic key generated at the time you install the browser extension. The owner of a private key has control of the data signed and sent by that key.

Access to the full fbTREX dataset is strictly limited, and the usage of this data are well documented. The goal of this collection is to study social media websites, and not the subjects participating to the initiative.

Still, this information can contain some personally identifying information, for example, the sequence of people who populates a timeline, might reveal after some extensive analysis, who is using the tool. To avoid this, the timeline is for us a protected information, and only the legitimate owner can have access to it.

fbTREX’s ethical policy imposes the following limits:

  • We will collect only the information that Facebook provides to you in your news feed, not in groups or you own profile page.
  • We will collect only posts marked as public. We will never collect posts marked for friends only.
  • You have full control over your data, and may delete it at any time.
  • No one will have access to your data unless you expressly grant them access. You will have to opt-in to any third-party, including research groups, that you may want to interact with.
  • All research conducted must strictly aim at understanding social phenomena and algorithmic influence, you will never be the subject or object of any study.

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