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Meta to temporarily shut down Threads platform in Turkey

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Meta Platforms Inc said it is temporarily shutting down its social networking platform Threads in Turkey as of April 29 in order to comply with a recent interim order from the Turkish Competition Authority.

The company said in a blog post on Monday that the move will have no impact on the functioning of other Meta services in Turkey such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp or Threads in other countries.

“We are taking steps to minimise disruption for people using Threads in Türkiye,” the company added.

Meta’s decision to temporarily close down Threads in Turkey comes in line with an interim measure on Meta last month by the Turkish Competition Authority intended to hinder data sharing between the Instagram and Threads platforms as it investigates a possible abuse of the company’s dominant market position.

In December the authority launched an investigation into Facebook parent Meta over a possible violation of competition law by linking its social media platforms Instagram and the newer Threads.

The authority said the interim measure would remain in place until a final decision is made since the data obtained and merged through these two apps could “violate competition law and cause irreparable damage” in the market.

The company said in its statement on Monday that it disagrees with the interim order and believes its operations are in compliance with all Turkish legal requirements and that will appeal the decision.

Meta launched the social networking venture Threads in July 2023, leveraging Instagram’s audience to build a new microblogging site to compete with X, formerly known as Twitter.

But unlike Instagram, which is photo and video-based, Threads is a predominantly text-based social-networking platform, though users can also post media files such as photos, links and short videos.

Although the Threads app was immediately available in the US and more than 100 other countries, including the UK, its debut in Europe lagged until December 2023 due to strict privacy laws in the region.

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