WASHINGTON — On Thursday, 24 civil-rights, digital-justice and pro-democracy organizations called on Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri to create and publicize robust and equitable community trust, safety and transparency policies specific to Threads, the micro-blogging platform that Meta launched last week.
In a letter led by Free Press, Accountable Tech and Media Matters for America, the groups urged Zuckerberg and Mosseri to take seriously the warning signs that Threads is already home to the same accounts spreading hate and disinformation that have made Twitter dangerous and unwelcome to many communities.
That Threads has yet to deal with this violative content indicates “gaps in Meta's terms of service and in its enforcement, unsurprising given [Meta's] long history of inadequate rules and inconsistent enforcement across other Meta properties,” reads the letter sent to Zuckerberg and Mosseri.
Like Twitter, Meta and other major social-media platforms have rolled back content-moderation and user-safety practices while laying off many of the people who oversaw this critical work.
The letter signers requested a meeting with Meta’s safety team and urged Threads to prioritize user protections and transparency by implementing three common-sense guardrails. These will help ensure that the new platform is a healthy space for public interaction:
- Immediately implement robust policies to keep incitements to violence and hate off Threads.
- Invest in robust protections against algorithmic manipulation and equitable policy enforcement.
- Prioritize transparency and engagement with civil society.
“For the good of its more than 100 million users, Threads must implement guardrails that curtail extremism, hate and anti-democratic lies on its network,” said Nora Benavidez, Free Press senior counsel and director of digital justice and civil rights. “Meta must implement basic moderation safeguards on Threads now or the platform will become as toxic as Twitter. Under Musk, Twitter has thumbed its nose at content moderation and is failing as a business as a result. As 2024 approaches, it’s especially urgent for Meta to take action as we see many prominent social-media networks retreat from the sort of health and safety standards that are essential to slowing the spread of election-related disinformation. Putting protections in place now isn’t just good for democracy; it’s good for the business of social media.”
The following organizations signed the letter to Zuckerberg: 18 Million Rising, Access Now, Accountable Tech, Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE), the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Common Cause, DemCast USA, Fair Vote UK, Free Press, Friends of the Earth, GLAAD, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, GreenLatinos, Greenpeace USA, Kairos, Media Matters for America, ParentsTogether, ProgressNow New Mexico, Public Citizen, the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), The Real Facebook Oversight Board, The Tech Oversight Project, UltraViolet and Win Without War.