Meta Decides to Shut down Threads in Turkey from April 29

  • Meta has decided to temporarily shut down Threads in Turkey starting on April 29
  • This decision comes after the TCA issued an interim order against Meta last month
  • Meta doesn’t agree with it and has decided to negotiate with the agency or appeal if needed

Meta Decides to Shut down Threads in Turkey from April 29

Yesterday, Meta announced that it has decided to temporarily shut down Threads in Turkey starting from April 29 to comply with an interim order of the Rekabet Kurumu/Turkish Competition Authority (TCA).

We know this will be very disappointing for the many people in Türkiye who engage on Threads with their community. We are taking steps to minimize any disruption as much as possible.Meta blog

Meta also assured that this move will have no impact on the functioning of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp in the country. Also, Threads will continue to operate in all the other countries as usual.

Last month the TCA issued an interim order against Meta, asking it to stop sharing data between Instagram and Threads. Doing so allowed the company to abuse its dominant market position.

This isn’t a new issue.

  • Previously in 2022, Turkey imposed a massive fine of $18.6 million on Meta for combining user data across Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
  • Following up with that order, the TCA announced this January that it would be imposing an additional fine of $160,000 each day if Meta did not comply with its previous order.
  • But then, in December 2023, Meta again linked Instagram and Threads which triggered another investigation by the TCA which was concluded last month.

The report said that Meta has already been operating for many years and has a diverse user base. Naturally, it’s the go-to choice for most advertisers which leaves Meta’s competitors with very little business.

This has increased the barrier to enter the industry. So when Meta combines its services, it, in turn, increases its market dominance, making it harder for others to compete.

When the first order was issued, Meta tried to fix the problem by sending a notification to its users explaining how they share information among the three platforms.

But the TCA called it insufficient and non-transparent. Plus, the notification was designed in a way that guided users to approve data sharing. For this, a separate investigation was launched and a fine of 4.8 million lira ($148,000) was imposed.

So this time around, the company has no choice but to shut down its Threads services until a solution is reached.

Meta said it doesn’t agree with the interim order. It believes that its business is in compliance with all the Turkish laws. The company has no choice but to shut down its Threads services until a solution is reached.

Meanwhile, it has decided to work together with the TCA to find a common solution or appeal against their decision if needed.

What Option Do the Users Have?

All the Threads users in Turkey will be notified about the same through an in-app notification before April 29. Then they will have the option to either delete their profile completely or deactivate it for the moment.

People who choose to deactivate their account can also download their content through the ‘Download Your Information’ tool at any time. And it’s completely okay if you don’t want to download. Once Threads resumes operations in Turkey again, all your posts will be visible on the platform.

Threads & Its Controversies

This isn’t the first time that Threads has landed in hot waters. When it was first launched, there were a lot of concerns about its privacy. So much so that its launch was delayed in the EU.

It took 6 months of negotiation for the app to finally launch in the EU in December 2023.

The EU is quite known for its stringent privacy policies. And any time a new app is launched, a mandatory disclosure for the app on iOS has to be submitted.

It turns out that Meta’s disclosure for Threads revealed that it will collect highly sensitive user data such as health and financial records, location, contacts, digital history, and so on.

Threads was inherently linked to your Instagram account and you couldn’t delete your Thread account without deleting your Instagram as well.

A Brief Timeline of Major Events of Threads

Here’s what has transpired with Meta’s Threads ever since its launch.

  • Threads was launched on 5 July 2023 as a rival to X (formerly known as Twitter).
  • In the same month, the company announced that Threads would not promote political news.
  • In November 2023, the company allowed users to delete their Threads account without having to delete their Instagram account.
  • In December 2023, Thread launched in the EU after getting past the initial restrictions.
  • Meta confirmed this month that it’s planning to release the official Threads API for developers this June.

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