Meta is shutting down Threads in Turkey following injunction against data-sharing with Instagram

The social media app goes offline April 29.


Meta is shutting down Threads in Turkey on April 29 after an interim injunction from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) against automatic data-sharing with Instagram. The TCA ruled that linking Threads and Instagram without user opt-in “will lead to irreparable harms” and that Meta “abused its dominant position” in the industry with the practice. The TCA also suggested that the linking exists primarily to increase the company’s “market power.”

Rather than make any changes to how Instagram and Threads integrate in the region, Meta’s pulling the nascent social media app. The company says this is merely a temporary measure as it works to appeal the injunction, but there’s no timetable for that. In the meantime, Meta suggests that users in Turkey either deactivate their accounts or delete them entirely. Those who deactivate will have their posts and interactions restored “if Threads returns” to the country.

Turkish regulators aren’t the only people who think the automatic linking between Threads and Instagram is, at best, a bit creepy. It’s been a point of contention since the platform launched last year. The apps were so tied together that users couldn’t even delete a Threads account without nuking their Instagram account, though Meta patched this several months back.

Meta also began promoting Threads posts on Facebook and Instagram without user consent, eventually allowing people to opt out of the, uh, “feature.” This is the type of automatic data-sharing that bristled the TCA, leading to the recent injunction.

Also, this isn’t the first regulatory battle between Meta and Turkey. The country fined Meta $18.6 million back in 2022 for data-sharing across its apps, according to a report by TechCrunch. This is an alleged violation of the country’s competition laws. The country asked Meta to submit documents detailing its efforts to stop violation of these laws, but Turkish regulators said the explanations were lacking. As such, the country slapped Meta with additional fines, to the tune of $160,000 each day.