Meta to Shut Down Threads in Turkey Following TCA Injunction

Meta to Shut Down Threads in Turkey Following TCA Injunction

Meta to cease Threads operations in Turkey after TCA injunction against Instagram data-sharing. Users are advised to deactivate or delete accounts by April 29.

Meta has announced the closure of its social media app Threads in Turkey, effective April 29, after receiving an interim injunction from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA)

This injunction blocks automatic data sharing with Instagram, which the TCA states could cause “irreparable harms” by not allowing users opt-in. The injunction further accuses Meta of abusing its market dominance.

Details of the Injunction and Closure

The TCA’s decision targets the integration between Threads and Instagram, emphasizing that this practice mainly boosted Meta’s market power without user consent. 

Meta has decided against modifying the integration features and will withdraw Threads from the Turkish market instead. 

This move is described as temporary while the company appeals the injunction. Meta has not provided a timeline for the appeal process.

In light of the upcoming shutdown, Meta advises Turkish users to deactivate or completely delete their Threads accounts. 

Deactivated accounts will retain their data and might be restored if Threads returns to the market.

Impact of Threads Closure on Users

ActionConsequence
Account DeactivationData preserved for potential restoration
Account DeletionPermanent removal of all user data and interactions

Background of Regulatory Challenges

This is not Meta’s first regulatory hurdle in Turkey. 

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In 2022, the country imposed a fine of $18.6 million on Meta for similar data-sharing practices across its platforms. 

The regulators demanded comprehensive documentation of Meta’s compliance efforts; however, they found that the company’s responses needed to be revised. 

This led to additional daily fines amounting to $160,000.

Furthermore, Meta integrated the promotion of Threads posts on Facebook and Instagram without prior user consent, allowing users to opt out of this feature. 

This type of automatic data sharing has been a significant point of contention, not only with the TCA but also among users who found the lack of control over their personal data unsettling.

Past Regulatory Actions Against Meta in Turkey

YearFineReason
2022$18.6 millionData-sharing without adequate user consent
Daily$160,000Non-compliance with regulatory documentation requirements

User and Global Reaction

The automatic linking of Threads and Instagram has been controversial since its launch, with criticisms regarding the lack of autonomy in managing one’s digital footprint. 

The requirement that deleting a Threads account must also delete the associated Instagram account was particularly controversial, though Meta addressed this issue several months ago by decoupling the account deletions.

The recent actions by Turkish regulators reflect a growing global scrutiny over how major tech companies handle user data and their competitive practices. 

This scenario with Meta in Turkey could set a precedent for how other nations approach similar issues with tech giants.

Conclusion

In summary, Threads’ closure in Turkey highlights ongoing tensions between large tech companies and regulatory bodies concerning user data and privacy. 

As Meta prepares to challenge the injunction, the outcome will likely influence future data privacy practices and regulatory measures in Turkey and potentially worldwide.

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