Do social media users have the right to control what they see — or don’t see — on their feeds?

A lawsuit filed against Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. is arguing that a federal law often used to shield internet companies from liability also allows people to use external tools to take control of their feed — even if that means shutting it off entirely.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Meta Platforms on behalf of an Amherst professor who wants to release a tool that enables users to unfollow all the content fed to them by Facebook’s algorithm.

The tool, called Unfollow Everything 2.0, is a browser extension that would let Facebook users unfollow friends, groups and pages and empty their newsfeed — the stream of posts, photos and videos that can keep them scrolling endlessly. The idea is that without this constant, addicting stream of content, people might use it less. If the past is any indication, Meta will not be keen on the idea.