Meta Shuts Down Threads in Turkey Following Injunction Against Data-Sharing with Instagram

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Meta Shuts Down Threads in Turkey Following Injunction Against Data-Sharing with Instagram

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has announced that it will be shutting down its social media app Threads in Turkey on April 29. This decision comes after an interim injunction from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) against the automatic data-sharing between Threads and Instagram. The TCA ruled that this practice, without user opt-in, would cause irreparable harm and accused Meta of abusing its dominant position in the industry.

Rather than making changes to the integration between Threads and Instagram in Turkey, Meta has chosen to temporarily pull the app from the market while it appeals the injunction. However, there is no specified timeline for this appeal process. In the meantime, Meta is advising users in Turkey to either deactivate their accounts or delete them entirely. Those who choose to deactivate will have their posts and interactions restored if Threads returns to the country.

The automatic linking between Threads and Instagram has been a contentious issue since the app’s launch. Users were initially unable to delete their Threads account without also deleting their Instagram account, although Meta addressed this concern a few months ago. Meta also faced criticism for promoting Threads posts on Facebook and Instagram without user consent, eventually allowing users to opt out of this feature.

This is not the first regulatory battle between Meta and Turkey. In 2022, the country fined Meta $18.6 million for data-sharing practices across its apps, citing violations of competition laws. Despite requesting documents from Meta regarding its efforts to comply with these laws, Turkish regulators found the explanations lacking and imposed additional fines of $160,000 per day.

Concerns Over Automatic Data-Sharing

The automatic data-sharing between Threads and Instagram has raised concerns not only among Turkish regulators but also among users. The practice was seen as invasive and a potential abuse of Meta’s market power. The TCA’s injunction reflects the growing scrutiny on tech companies and their data-sharing practices.

Meta’s decision to shut down Threads in Turkey highlights the complex relationship between social media platforms and regulatory bodies. As companies like Meta face increasing pressure to protect user privacy and comply with competition laws, they must find a balance between innovation and respecting user consent.

The Future of Threads and Instagram Integration

The outcome of Meta’s appeal against the TCA’s injunction remains uncertain. It is unclear whether Threads will return to the Turkish market and, if so, whether any changes will be made to the data-sharing practices between Threads and Instagram.

In the meantime, Turkish users are left with the choice of deactivating or deleting their Threads accounts. This situation serves as a reminder of the importance of user consent and control over personal data in the digital age. As regulatory scrutiny continues to increase, social media companies must prioritize transparency and user privacy to build trust with their users and regulators alike.

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