UMass Professor Sues Meta Over Unfollow Tool

UMass Professor Sues Meta Over Unfollow Tool

Elena Vargas
1 min read

Professor Ethan Zuckerman Sues Meta Over Unfollow Everything 2.0

A lawsuit filed by University of Massachusetts Amherst professor, Ethan Zuckerman, against Meta (formerly Facebook) aims to release a tool called Unfollow Everything 2.0, allowing Facebook users to take control of their newsfeeds and curate content. Zuckerman is concerned about potential legal threats from Meta, reminiscent of their actions against the original Unfollow Everything creator in 2021. He hopes to challenge Meta's ability to sue developers like Barclay and establish the grounds for releasing his tool. The lawsuit is centered on Section 230, which safeguards the development of filtering tools for user-curated online experiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Professor Ethan Zuckerman files a lawsuit against Meta to release Unfollow Everything 2.0 for users to manage their newsfeeds.
  • Concerns arise over potential legal actions from Meta, following their previous interference with the original Unfollow Everything tool creator in 2021.
  • The lawsuit seeks to nullify Meta's prior arguments against developers and solidify Zuckerman's right to release his tool under Section 230.
  • Zuckerman's case leans on Section 230(c)(2)(B), protecting software or tools for filtering objectionable content, placing Unfollow Everything 2.0 in this protective category.


Ethan Zuckerman's legal battle against Meta possesses the potential to establish a precedent for developer rights in creating filtering tools under Section 230. A favorable outcome could encourage more developers to design similar tools, fostering greater user control online. Conversely, a loss might bolster Meta's stance against such tools, posing a threat to developer community and user autonomy. This dispute may prompt tech companies to reevaluate their policies regarding filtering tools and user empowerment, with implications for developers, tech firms, and social media users.

Did You Know?

  • Unfollow Everything 2.0: A tool developed by Professor Ethan Zuckerman to empower Facebook users in managing their newsfeeds, offering personalized and controlled experiences.
  • Section 230(c)(2)(B): This Communications Decency Act provision shields software or enabling tools that filter objectionable content from legal actions. Zuckerman invokes this provision to safeguard Unfollow Everything 2.0 against Meta's legal threats.
  • Past arguments against developers: Meta's cease-and-desist letter to the original Unfollow Everything creator in 2021 inspired Zuckerman's lawsuit, aiming to overturn Meta's stance and empower developers to enhance user experiences on social media platforms.

You May Also Like

This article is submitted by our user under the News Submission Rules and Guidelines. The cover photo is computer generated art for illustrative purposes only; not indicative of factual content. If you believe this article infringes upon copyright rights, please do not hesitate to report it by sending an email to us. Your vigilance and cooperation are invaluable in helping us maintain a respectful and legally compliant community.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the latest in enterprise business and tech with exclusive peeks at our new offerings