Instagram Head Says Threads’ Blocking Of ‘Covid’ And Related Terms Is Temporary, To Lift In ‘Weeks Or Months’


Instagram’s new Threads app has faced criticism for its ban on health-related search terms, including those related to COVID-19. However, Instagram head Adam Mosseri has now stated that this blocking is temporary and will be lifted in the coming weeks or months. The ban on terms such as “vaccines,” “coronavirus,” and “covid” was implemented to create a positive, friendly environment on the app, but it has limited access to critical information surrounding the pandemic.

Key Takeaway

Instagram’s Threads app, which initially blocked search terms related to COVID-19, will lift these restrictions in the near future. The decision to ban COVID-related terms was temporary and aimed at prioritizing other projects and managing content responsibly. The app’s goal is to create a positive and friendly culture, but users will soon regain access to critical information regarding the pandemic.

Threads’ Focus on User Safety

The goal of Threads, according to Mosseri, is not to be “anti-news,” as users can still find and follow news accounts for information. However, the app does not amplify news due to the perceived risks associated with it, given the platform’s maturity. Blocking users from engaging in discussions and accessing news reports about COVID has raised concerns among users and experts.

A Temporary Measure

In response to criticism, Mosseri assured users that the ban on COVID-related terms is temporary. He explained that the company is currently focused on managing content responsibly in relation to the war in Israel and Gaza. Instagram’s broader team is also working on various projects such as integrations into Instagram and Facebook, compliance with EU regulations, and improving the overall user experience of Threads. Mosseri emphasized that there is a lot of important work to be done, and the ban on COVID-related terms will be lifted in a matter of weeks or months.

Threads’ Unique Approach

Threads’ decision to create a blocklist of terms that provide no search results has sparked a debate about limiting conversations, debate, and news-sharing within the app. Unlike other fast-moving news networks, such as Twitter, Threads prioritized creating a positive environment for discussions and limited the visibility of adult topics. This approach may have affected the app’s adoption rate, as usage reportedly dropped after its initial surge. To revive interest in the app, Instagram is actively seeking to engage creators and encourage them to post more frequently.

While Threads’ temporary ban on COVID-related terms has drawn criticism, it is important to note that the intention was to create a safe and positive space for users. The lifting of this ban in the coming weeks or months will allow for more open discussions and the sharing of news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic within the app.

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