Meta Platforms is now blocking search results for what it deems “potentially sensitive” topics in its recently launched Twitter (now “X”) rival Threads.
Terms that are related to the Covid-19 pandemic such as “covid”, “covid-19”, “coronavirus”,” vaccines”, and “covid vaccines” have been blocked, and this was first discovered by The Washington Post. More terms that are blocked on the platform include: “gore”, “nude”, and “sex”.
Initially Meta only offered the ability to search for Threads users when it first added search functionality for Threads posts last week, roughly two months after launch.
Talking to The Washington Post, a spokesperson from Meta said the blocking of certain terms in search was a temporary measure. “The search functionality temporarily doesn’t provide results for keywords that may show potentially sensitive content,” they said.
Adam Mosseri who is the head of Instagram, and also responsible for Threads, tweeted that the company was aiming to learn from its past mistakes and believed it was better to bias towards being careful in the search rollout.
The company’s other social media platforms, being Facebook and Instagram, usually have their hands full in dealing with a flood of fake news and misinformation.
While Twitter has a team that reviews whether content infringes its policies, it also relies on community-driven fact-checking to annotate potentially misleading posts with context and links to reputable sources.