Pull That Threads: Is There Censorship Already At Meta’s “Twitter Killer”?

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) chief Mark Zuckerberg has promised users that his new platform, “Threads,” would provide a superior experience compared to Twitter. He envisioned a public conversations app with over one billion users, surpassing what Twitter had achieved.

However, mere hours after its launch, Threads was caught secretly censoring users without granting them the right to appeal, as revealed in a Substack piece by Public’s Michael Shellenberger.

Conservative commentator Derek Utley took to Twitter to express his frustration, stating, “@Meta/IG just released their new threads platform, and I’ve been informed by multiple users that I’m censored on their new platform. Sheesh, can’t a dude catch a break?”

Utley’s sentiment was echoed by another conservative, Rogan O’Hanley, who commented, “First 5 minutes on Threads and already censored. What a platform.”

Threads displayed a warning when users attempted to access Utley and O’Hanley’s profiles. The warning questioned the user’s decision, stating, “Are you sure you want to follow…? This account has repeatedly posted false information.”

While it is true that Meta has the legal right to censor users, and Twitter engages in censorship as well, it is important to note that Threads had barely been operational for 24 hours. However, citizens grant Meta broad liability protection under Section 230, a privilege not afforded to other media companies. Consequently, it is reasonable to expect Meta and other social media platforms to be transparent regarding their censorship decisions and to provide users with the right to respond.

Unlike Twitter, which has faced censorship demands from governments like India and Turkey or targeted economic competitors like Substack, there is limited evidence of comparable political or viewpoint-based censorship on the platform.

Meta launched Threads on Thursday, with Zuckerberg boasting 10 million downloads by hour seven. One key advantage of the app over Twitter is its potential access to billions of users already on Meta’s Instagram, which serves as the foundation for Threads. This is why many are calling Threads a serious contender to Twitter’s user base, with some labeling it the “Twitter killer”.

Twitter has reportedly threatened Meta with legal action over its newly launched app. According to Semafor, the news outlet that published a cease-and desist letter written by Twitter’s legal representative, Twitter accuses Meta of illicitly appropriating its trade secrets and other intellectual property.

In the correspondence, Alex Spiro, acting on behalf of Twitter, claimed that Meta engaged in “systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation” of Twitter’s proprietary information. Spiro demanded that Meta immediately halt the use of any of Twitter’s trade secrets or other confidential data.

Information for this story was found via Public and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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