If you’re using Blacklight for an ongoing research project or data collection, please read this announcement.
The Markup is making a few changes to Blacklight to keep its data up-to-date and accurate. This won’t have obvious effects for most users, but it could change the results Blacklight returns in some cases. Specifically, The Markup is updating Blacklight to use the most recent versions of the DuckDuckGo Radar and EasyPrivacy lists used to generate the list of ad trackers present on a site, as well as adding the main EasyList list alongside EasyPrivacy as a factor that helps determine what gets labeled an ad tracker. We’re also updating the version of Chromium used for the collection and changing the device emulated from an iPhone X to an iPhone 13 Mini (primarily to change the version of Safari Blacklight claims to be from 11 to 15).
We know some individuals and organizations have used the web version of Blacklight we host at themarkup.org (rather than the blacklight-collector package) to generate data used in academic studies or other published research. We’d like to make sure we don’t change the way Blacklight works in the middle of an ongoing study to avoid potentially misleading results stemming from a slightly different collection context in the latter part of study.
The Markup has created a new version of the API Blacklight uses with the changes listed above. On 2023-06-01 we plan to switch the version of Blacklight used on our website to this new API endpoint. The old endpoint will remain available until 2023-06-14 at the same domain, so any code that uses the old endpoint should continue to work until then. If it’s helpful to have access to the new endpoint early, or you want to be informed when we change Blacklight in the future, email us at email@example.com. Otherwise, after 2023-06-01 you’ll be able to find it the same way you found the old endpoint. If you’re using Blacklight to collect data via the webpage at themarkup.org/blacklight, or if the removal of the old API on 2023-06-14 is going to be a problem, feel free to reach out to us at that address as well.
We’re also likely to update the dataset again in the future, and we’re hopeful we will be able to make other improvements to Blacklight as well. To inform that process, we’d like to talk to some of Blacklight’s users to get a better understanding of how they’re using it. If you are using or have used Blacklight to generate data and are willing to have a short conversation with us about your work, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org).