Meta* blocks access to Threads users in Europe, even VPN doesn’t save
Competitor Twitter** has already attracted 100 million users, but the company does not want to violate European laws.
Threads is a social app launched by Meta last week. It is positioned as a direct competitor Twitter. Many users, including those from Europe, have already installed and tried out the application, but their happiness did not last long.
Due to some data privacy concerns, Threads is not yet available in the EU. The company confirmed in its official statement that it has taken additional measures to prevent attempts to circumvent this ban, leaving users no chance to use the service.
“Threads is not currently available in most of Europe and we have taken extra steps to prevent people living there from accessing it. Europe continues to be an incredibly important market for Meta and we look forward to making Threads available here in the future.” official statement Meta.
Today, several users residing in the EU, started publishing on Twitter, screenshots showing they can’t access the Threads app even with the VPN service turned on.
The reasoning of one of the European users of Threads (translated into Russian)
As you know, Meta keeps track of a large list of the activity of its users. So, the application can collect various Personal Informationincluding highly sensitive information such as health and financial data, exact location, browsing history, contacts, and search history.
This approach creates certain legal problems for Meta in the European Union. After all, according to EU data protection law, Meta needs a legal basis to process such an extensive list of personal information.
In addition, the EU has a so-called “Digital Markets Directive” (DMA), which also sets limits on how tech giants that collect user data can use it to serve personalized ads. And Meta, allegedly citing uncertainty about how DMA will apply to its business’s use of data, is using this as one of the reasons for delaying the launch of Threads in the EU.
Although not officially launched in most of Europe, Threads is off to a good start, with the app surpassing 100 million registrations in just a few days.
However, according to the analyst firm Sensor Tower, the number of active users this week decreased by 20% compared to last Saturday. And the time spent by users in the application is also decreasing.
It remains an open question whether anyone will use Threads when the hype around the Meta version of Twitter dries up, especially with the company’s tough approach to restricting access, when even a VPN cannot help bypass the block.
* The Meta company and its products (Instagram and Facebook) are recognized as extremist, their activities are prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation.
** The social network Twitter is prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation.