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Threads To Block Chronological Feeds To Maintain Censorship Control

For "safety."

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Remember Threads – the app launched by Meta (Instagram) as a Twitter clone, just as the legacy media were ramping up anti-Twitter (X) sentiment and hoping to sway users away from that platform?

Some data shows that as many as 80 percent of those who initially signed up for Threads have in the meantime indeed forgotten about it, and new statements coming from the top Instagram exec might be a good reason for those who haven’t done it yet to stop using the app.

Namely, Adam Mosseri believes that allowing Threads users to filter search results as they wish is a bad idea. This is seen by critics as effectively introducing yet another nuance of censorship.

The logic, if any, behind it, is that the option to have access to search results sorted chronologically would “create a substantial safety loophole.”

Not even a Verge reporter was clear on what that explanation was even supposed to mean. So they quizzed Mosseri in the comments, and this is the “clarification” the Instagram boss offered:

“Having a comprehensive list of *every* post with a specific word in chronological order inevitably means spammers and other bad actors pummel the view with content by simply adding the relevant words or tags.”

It looks like a fine example of the need to adhere to certain “censorship standards” – and also, Meta’s inherent urge to do as little work as possible, for the most profit imaginable.

In that same response, Mosseri pretty much admitted to that last point (or maybe both points), adding, “And before you ask why we don’t take down that bad content, understand there’s a lot more content that people don’t want to see than we can or should take down.”

A bold statement about Meta knowing what “people don’t want to see” – and that even what they “shouldn’t take down” still needs to be removed.

What not providing chronological search means is simple: Meta arbitrarily decides what is visible to users, rather than providing them with that’s relevant to their query.

Mosseri for his part, in the same thread, manages to make things sound even worse: “You can show results in chronological order, but you then need to omit bad content that does not quote (sic; probably misspelling of, “quite”) cross the line and qualify to get taken down.”

Translation: Meta and its major platforms (Facebook and Instagram) and even minor ones, like Threads, continue to censor even the content that their own rules and guidelines can’t quite accuse of crossing any lines that would warrant takedowns. This policy is not new.

Mosseri says they do it because they “need to.” Who is making them? Hardly Meta’s own business instincts – and, hardly because people “don’t want to see” what they are actually searching for.

If you're tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Tired of censorship and surveillance?

Defend free speech and individual liberty online. Push back against Big Tech and media gatekeepers. Subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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