In Bid to Compete with Twitter, Zuckerberg Launches Social Media App That ‘Collects All Your Data and Follows You Everywhere’

MEDIA, 10 Jul 2023

Brenda Baletti, Ph.D. | The Defender - TRANSCEND Media Service

Commenting on the new app — Threads — Journalist Kim Iversen said Zuckerberg is not “socially savvy, so I don’t know if he fully understands … why [people] want a censorship-free platform.”

The Defender

7 Jul 2023 – One day after a federal judge temporarily barred key Biden administration officials and federal agencies from communicating with social media platforms about censoring specific online content, Mark Zuckerberg launched Threads — Meta’s new social media platform intended to compete with Twitter.

“But have no fear all, hope for censorship isn’t lost,” journalist Kim Iversen told viewers of “The Kim Iversen Show,” “because yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg‘s Twitter knockoff, Threads, was unveiled and it immediately began censoring users.”

Iversen reported the app was released with much fanfare, but she said she doubts it will become a real competitor to Twitter for several reasons.

First, she said, the user base for an app like Threads is different from that of Twitter.

Threads is based on Instagram, which is a “very visual medium,” whereas Twitter is for writers, comedians and people who prefer to communicate via written text. The two platforms serve different purposes, she said, so it isn’t clear why people would transfer from Twitter to Threads.

“I like looking at the makeup posts and the fashion and the food and the cats [on Instagram],” she said, “but I don’t know if I really want to know what they have to say on politics or current events. That’s why I go to Twitter.”

Iversen also doubted people would want to add yet another app to their social media portfolio, giving them one more thing to check each day.

But the most serious barrier to Threads’ success, she said, is that it is already censoring users.

“They immediately do the one thing that is upsetting to everybody,” she said.

Iversen said Zuckerberg is not “socially savvy, so I don’t know if he fully understands the appeal of Twitter and why people were up in arms about the censorship and why they want a censorship-free platform.”

She said she thought that Twitter holds equal appeal for both its fans and its haters.

Even people who claim they think they want censorship on social media platforms, she said, “deep down they don’t [want censorship]. They want to hear the crap that other people have to say so that they can rag on it and get mad about it.”

“Twitter feeds off of anger, it feeds off of being upset and picking on people. It’s unhealthy but that’s the emotion,” she added.

But the censorship is already happening, Iversen said, sharing a tweet from Derek Utley informing followers that Threads users alerted him that he is being censored.

Iversen said when she tried to follow Utley on Threads, “Immediately this image pops up and it says this account has been repeatedly posting false information that was reviewed by independent fact-checkers and went against our community guidelines.”

People can follow him, but potential followers first receive that warning.

Iversen said Threads is treating many other accounts, such as DC Drano and Donald Trump Jr., the same way and that all censored accounts appear to be held by Republicans.

“I don’t know of any Democrats [this happens to] because, of course, they only tell the truth,” she joked.

Threads also is collecting extensive user data. Iversen showed Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s tweet posting all the data that Meta collects from its users, which includes health and fitness, financial data, location data, search history, contacts, purchase history and more.

Iversen said she wondered why Zuckerberg created the platform. It is one thing to create a better product, she said, but Zuckerberg “hasn’t come out with a better product. He’s come out with a product that goes back to the product we didn’t want, which is a censorship product that collects all your data and follows you everywhere.”

She quoted Scott Adams, who asked whether Zuckerberg was trying to make money for Meta shareholders or whether he was seeking to “claw back political influence from Twitter.”

Iversen also pointed out that if Meta were to succeed in competing with Twitter, it would have control over 80% of the social media market.

“Do we really want to make Zuckerberg the monopolistic Czar over social media?” she asked.


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