Meta’s Threads is already censoring users just a few hours after launch
While the launch of Meta’s direct challenge to Twitter has received widespread media attention and celebration, it didn’t take long before Threads started to censor anyone with unapproved thoughts, raising new concerns about the platform’s censorship practices.
A Twitter user, Shaneyy Ricch, shared a purported screenshot showing that his post was removed by Threads. The post in question contained a message about a supposed incident at the West Wing of the White House involving cocaine, suggesting an evacuation and an ongoing investigation by the FBI.
“BREAKING: it has been confirmed the West Wing of the White House was evacuated due to cocaine being found. The FBI is scrambling to find who it could belong,” Ricch tweeted.
That was quick pic.twitter.com/ka7fyAeu6j
— shaneyyricch (@shaneyyricch) July 6, 2023
This incident raises concerns about the extent of content moderation and censorship on the Threads platform, prompting discussions about the balance between free speech and responsible content management.
Ricch is not alone. Another Threads user by the name DC Draino was censored for sharing post that reads: “We’re LIVE on Threads and ready to expose Biden’s corrupt government.”
Threads has censorship baked into the app. It is not a free speech platform. pic.twitter.com/Hy4Nyu11ln
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 6, 2023
Although Zuckerberg said that Meta’s goal is to provide a “friendly alternative” to Twitter, this latest censorship is reminiscent and a reminder of Meta’s past censorship. In 2018, Meta’s Facebook was accused of censorship after it purged 800 political pages and accounts from its platform, sending a shock to many on the left and right. In 2020, the social platform was also accused of censoring several posts related to COVID-19 vaccines.
Meta officially launched Threads today, July 6th, positioning it as a competitor to Twitter. The news comes just a few days after Elon Musk imposed rate limits on users in what he described as a temporary move that targets “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation” by other companies and users.
Meta’s decision to launch the Threads app ahead of schedule was also influenced by the recent changes implemented by Twitter. Meta stated that Threads will have a strong connection to Instagram while maintaining its own unique identity.