Meta's Threads faces backlash over censorship of Covid-19 content

Sweta Gupta
Sweta GuptaSep 12, 2023 | 15:42

Meta's Threads faces backlash over censorship of Covid-19 content

Meta launched Threads officially in July and gained 100 million followers in a week. (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched Threads, a text-based social media app on July 5. However, it is facing criticism for its restriction on searches related to Covid-19 and vaccines.


  • Threads is currently preventing users from searching for terms such as "coronavirus" and "Covid," which are directly linked to the pandemic.
  • This decision is being questioned, particularly at a time when the United States is witnessing an increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • A Meta spokesperson informed CNN that keyword search functionality has recently been introduced on Threads in more countries.
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 Spokesperson
  • When attempting to search for "coronavirus," "Covid," "vaccine," or "Covid-19" within Threads, users encounter a page with no search results.

However, if any of these terms are entered, the app provides a link to the World Health Organization's website, offering information related to Covid-19 or vaccinations, depending on the specific search term.

Meta, the company behind Facebook and other social media platforms, faced challenges during the early stages of the pandemic due to the spread of false information about Covid-19 on its platforms.

Threads was officially launched by Meta in July and garnered over 100 million sign-ups in its first week.

However, as users explored the app further, they found it to be rather simplistic and lacking innovation, leading to a decline in initial enthusiasm.

A similar outcome was observed when searching for "Covid" on other Meta platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Search results Meta platform- Facebook
Search results on Meta platform- Instagram

Threads recently introduced a web version and keyword search functionality. Still, the issues with its search feature highlight that the platform has room for improvement.

Last updated: September 12, 2023 | 15:42
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