~/Simon's Blog ❯


Threads by Instagram has been available outside the European Union for a little bit now, and there is already a whole host of issues and unmet promises.

From @Ciaraioch@mastodon.ie: “Can't delete your #Threads account without also deleting your Instagram, non-chronological feed showing stuff from across the platfrom instead of the people you follow, tight algorithmic control of what you see, wall-to-wall bad brand patter... I've never been less mad about being geoblocked from using an app“

The Fediverse.

Threads‘ big thing was supposed to be it‘s ability to interoperate with other platforms on the Fediverse as it would also be using ActivityPub. Though, even though that was mentioned in leaked promotional material and admins of big Mastodon servers had been contacted, upon release, it doesn‘t actually support Federation at all. It‘s a similar phenomenon to what Game Studios are doing, where they release an unfinished product and promise to make it live up to it‘s promises with patches or updates later.


Threads is an instagram product, meaning it integrates with your existing Instagram account if you want it to do so. The issue with this is that if you want to delete your threads account/profile, you‘ll also be getting rid of your entire Instagram account on accident and without warning. This could mean horrible things for any content creator on Instagram which is unaware of this, as it could potentially make their source of income disappear into thin air with the click of a button.

Privacy. (of course)

One of the first things that people started making fun of about Threads (especially on Mastodon) was the lack of privacy that was basically clear from the start. For starters, it compares horribly in data collection to Mastodon and even BlueSky. But not only that, anyone that will federate in the future - as suggested in the privacy policy - will be taken into account in Meta‘s algorithm, and there is no opt-out other than blocking the domain yourself or asking your server administrator to defederate.

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

One thing that has come up often in debates around threads is how we might be seeing a pattern that we‘ve seen many times before with XMPP and other open standards which have been put into ruin by companies. The best example of this is when Google introduced XMPP support into their chatting application, eventually expanding the functionality and then completely removing any and all XMPP support, practically rendering non-Google users stranded. Many people are speculating that Meta might be trying to do a similar thing, where they first Embrace the Fediverse as a selling point, then they Extend it by introducing extra features or trying to extend the ActivityPub standard, and then pulling the plug and Extinguish what we know as the Fediverse.

If Meta were to do something like this, it wouldn‘t be quite as bad for Mastodon as for other platforms as Mastodon has already built a brand for itself and is often recommended by people which are - for example - switching away from Twitter. However, this doesn‘t mean it couldn‘t have a huge impact on the existing userbase on Mastodon and other platforms of the Fediverse.


As soon as Threads got released to the public, people quickly began to find out how it is practically not moderated and used to spread hate speech and misinformation. One tool that has been used to do this is the ability to quote other posts, similar to how you can on Twitter.

Read More: https://fosstodon.org/@djnavarro/110665289120795534 (TW: Transphobia)

I personally don‘t think that Instagram‘s Threads is a worthwhile platform for anyone, as there already exist better platforms out there on which the biggest issue - lack of users - would be solved by just taking the first step and actually trying it.

I believe that most these bigger creators which are not even giving Mastodon a try due to the “lack of a userbase“ don‘t even realise that if they were to get themselves an account, thousands of people would join to follow them alone.

I would expect that in the future, as people discover the platform, more issues regarding privacy and ethics will be discovered which will steer more users away from Threads, and instead to platforms which actually respect your rights and privacy as a person, like Mastodon.

As somebody which has had experience with online privacy, I highly urge you to use Mastodon instead of Threads if you want a microblogging platform. Nothing is stopping Meta from collecting all your information, because with a mobile app - unlike in a web browser - you don‘t have nearly as much power over what code is ran. Over here we don‘t have algorithms, just who you wanna follow. We don‘t have ads, just what you wanna see. We don‘t have privacy-invasive mobile apps, we take just the data you explicitly give.

To conclude, if everything keeps going at this rate we will have yet another privacy invasive platform by meta and a potential attempt at Embrace, Extend, Extinguish to render the Fediverse useless.

Thanks for reading! I wish you a good rest of the day, evening, night, or whatever other time you're reading this!

#fediverse #instagram-threads #social media