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Meta temporarily shuts down Threads in Turkiye

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Social media giant Meta has announced the impending temporary shutdown of its messaging app, Threads, in Turkiye on Monday, April 29th. This move comes as a response to an interim order from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA), Rekabet Kurumu.

The investigation was conducted into Meta’s alleged use of its dominant market position to link Threads and Instagram without explicit user consent. Also, the company’s insistence on keeping the Threads profile as an integral part of Instagram raised many eyebrows.

However, the company backtracked and announced that it would launch a separate mechanism for deleting a Threads account.

The authority believes that this move could have detrimental effects on users and disrupt fair competition in the market. Given the company’s position, it can easily attract more advertisers, allocate more resources for service development and create a barrier to the entry of new competitors in the market.

“Within the scope of this investigation, Meta is found to be dominant, which strengthens the facts concerning anticompetitive effects to be created by data combination. It is considered that Meta’s combining the data obtained through Threads with the data obtained from Instagram during the investigation process will serve to protect and even strengthen Meta’s current position in the market,” assessed the authority in its final report.

Threads is seen as a rival to X.

With this assessment, the authority passed the interim measure order to resolve the potential competition problems.

TCA and Meta were at loggerheads in 2022 when Meta was fined $18.6 million for linking data from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. TCA also announced that Meta would have to pay a fine of $160,000 per day from January 2024 as it has not complied with the previous order.

“We disagree with the interim order. We believe we comply with all Turkish legal requirements, and we will appeal. The TCA’s interim order leaves us with no choice but to shut down Threads in Türkiye temporarily. We will continue to engage with the TCA constructively and hope to bring Threads back to people in Türkiye as quickly as possible,” Meta said.

Meta has not been a truly open and transparent company. In January 2024, it was reported that Meta is running an intricate surveillance and data collection apparatus fuelled by companies constantly providing data.

Last year, it was reported that the tax data of millions of US citizens were released to Meta and Google via improper channels.

In May 2023, Meta was fined a whopping $1.3 billion by the European Union for illegally sending European data to the United States.

Given that tech giants are hungry for more data for various purposes, including leveraging it to attract advertisers and now to train AI, this decision by the TCA is just one of the many that Meta has faced in recent years.

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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