Censorship App ‘Threads’ Hits 20 million Users and No Signs of Slowing Down

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, announced that its Twitter competitor, Threads, has attracted over 20 million sign-ups.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services regarding Facebook’s new cryptocurrency on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., U.S. on October 23, 2019. Credit: Stefani Reynolds / CNP. 23 Oct 2019 Pictured: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services regarding Facebook’s new cryptocurrency on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., U.S. on October 23, 2019. Credit: Stefani Reynolds / CNP. Photo credit: Stefani Reynolds - CNP / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA533846_004.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, announced that its Twitter competitor, Threads, has attracted over 20 million sign-ups. CEO Mark Zuckerberg described Threads as a “friendly” alternative to Twitter, emphasizing its focus on fostering a positive online environment. The app allows users to publish posts up to 500 characters long, including links, photos, and videos.

Threads is directly integrated with Instagram and is being rolled out in more than 100 countries for iOS and Android devices. Zuckerberg expressed his vision for Threads to maintain a friendly atmosphere as it expands, highlighting the perceived lack of success of Twitter and Meta’s intention to approach it differently.

However, concerns have arisen regarding data privacy and censorship on the platform. Former Twitter owner Jack Dorsey raised alarm about the extensive data collection practices of Threads. Also, journalist Michael Shellenberger pointed out that Threads had already begun censoring users without offering an appeals process shortly after its launch.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services regarding Facebook’s new cryptocurrency on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., U.S. on October 23, 2019. Credit: Stefani Reynolds / CNP. 23 Oct 2019 Pictured: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services regarding Facebook’s new cryptocurrency on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., U.S. on October 23, 2019. Credit: Stefani Reynolds / CNP. Photo credit: Stefani Reynolds - CNP / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA533846_004.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

Shellenberger argued that Meta’s increasing influence in controlling what the public sees raises concerns about potential censorship. If Threads succeeds, it could dominate 80% of the global market outside of Russia and China, potentially aligning its censorship practices with the preferences of mainstream media corporations and corporate advertisers.

In addition to the censorship concerns, Threads collects various types of data, including “Health & Fitness,” “Financial Info,” “Sensitive Info,” and “Other Data,” raising questions about the nature of the latter category.

Early observations revealed that Threads displayed warning messages when users clicked on certain profiles, cautioning that the account had repeatedly posted false information. The lack of an appeal process for censored users further added to the concerns surrounding the platform.

Threads enters a competitive landscape of Twitter clones that have attempted to challenge the dominance of the original platform, including Donald Trump’s Truth Social, Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky, and Mastodon. However, these alternatives have struggled to gain significant user bases and achieve mainstream success.

While Threads attracted attention from celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it has encountered difficulties early on, raising questions about its potential to become a prominent platform in the long term.

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