This tool to analyze the Facebook timeline algorithm is now DISCONTINUED

This project started in 2016 by Claudio Agosti, with crucial technical support at the early stage from Alberto Granzotto. Throughout the years it expanded to become the first generalized toolkit for adversarial algorithm accountability known as Tracking Exposed. (fbtrex) was the first worldwide data donation project. It enabled pioneering researches and inspired many other organizations to replicate the approach. It was also fundamental in the first sock-puppet algorithm analysis on Facebook, recording evidences and patterns only explained by whistleblowers years later.

The main challenge was resisting the anti-scraping techniques implemented by Facebook, and the design was solid enough to be maintained for 5 years but resilience comes with a cost.

fbtrex was the skeleton upon which the equivalent system to analyze YouTube (in 2018), PornHub (in 2019), Amazon (in 2019) and TikTok (in 2020) was built. The software was always published in AGPL-3 license on git, but it stopped being maintained at the end of 2021, when the Tracking Exposed project had a refocusing moment and became AI Forensics in 2023.

Below is a list of resources produced by researchers using the tool:

How fbtrex was initially designed, by Michele Invernizzi for Density Design.