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Meta Threads doesn’t need the ‘negativity’ of hard news and politics, exec says

Adam Mosseri speaks onstage at the WIRED25 Summit 2019 – Day 1 at Commonwealth Club on November 08, 2019 in San Francisco, California.

Matt Winkelmeyer | Getty Images

Meta‘s new Threads app has been live for less than two days, but one of the company’s top executives thinks prioritizing news and political discourse on the platform “is not at all worth” the apparent business and “platform” downsides.

Adam Mosseri, who oversees both Instagram and the text-based, Instagram-powered Threads, offered the commentary in an unusually candid post on the new social network on Friday.

“Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads – they have on Instagram as well to some extent – but we’re not going to do anything to encourage those verticals,” he wrote in a response to a reporter’s question about Threads replacing Twitter for news industry professionals.

“Politics and hard news are important,” Mosseri continued. “But my take is, from a platform’s perspective, any incremental engagement or revenue they might drive is not at all worth the scrutiny, negativity (let’s be honest), or integrity risks that come along with them.”

Meta representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on whether Meta would downrank news or political content on Threads as the company has periodically done on other platforms.

Mosseri’s comment came even as Meta fights to prevent governments from forcing the company to pay newsrooms for the content that Meta leverages for advertises and engagement.

For example, in Canada. new legislation would require Meta to pay money to Canadian newsrooms, something that would cost both Google and Meta an estimated $329 million Canadian dollars against billions of advertising revenue.

In response, Meta blocked Canadian outlets from appearing on Meta and Instagram search results, a restriction that would presumably apply to Threads if the platform’s search functionality is expanded. Google implemented a similar restriction shortly after.

Meta employed the same technique in Australia when a similar law was passed in 2022.

Despite the unraveling of Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership — something which Mosseri has conceded was an impetus behind the launch of Threads — government agencies, politicians, and journalists rely on the platform to disseminate breaking news and emergency notifications.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

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