OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
3:50 PM – Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Threads, a new text-based social media platform created by Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has implemented a controversial measure. They have blocked keywords related to COVID-19 vaccines and other “potentially sensitive” topics.
According to The Washington Post, Meta’s revamped search engine initially displayed a blank screen and redirected users to the CDC’s website when they searched for terms like ”coronavirus” and ”COVID”.
“We just began rolling out keyword search for Threads to additional countries last week,” a Meta spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement. “The search functionality temporarily doesn’t provide results for keywords that may show potentially sensitive content. People will be able to search for keywords such as ‘COVID’ in future updates once we are confident in the quality of the results.”
Meta has confirmed that this blocking of searches is a “temporary” measure.
Furthermore, the Post reported that words like “sex,” “nude,” “gore,” “porn,” “coronavirus,” “vaccines,” and “vaccination” have also been blocked on Threads’ search engine.
Public health professionals, including World Health Network Outreach Director Julia Doubleday, have criticized Meta’s decision to prohibit COVID-related searches. They argue that social media plays a crucial role in providing information to patients who are seeking more knowledge about their virus diagnosis.
“Long COVID patients have died of organ failure, infections, cardiac events and more, and social media is one place they can share information. Cutting off communication between suffering and disabled patients is cruel in the extreme,” Doubleday stated. “It’s indefensible.”
Threads was officially launched by Meta in early July and gained over 100 million sign-ups in its first week. However, users noticed that the platform lacked many features that made Twitter successful.
Additionally, the rapid development and release of Threads, which took only five months to build, may have contributed to these initial discrepancies. The app was created in response to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
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