Facebook owner Meta will not launch its new short-form blogging app Threads in the European Union, reports on Wednesday have stated. (Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)


Meta ‘will not launch Twitter rival Threads in EU’


Facebook and Instagram owner Meta will not launch its new short-form blogging app Threads in the European Union, according to reports on July 5.

Billed as a potential rival to US billionaire Elon Musk’s Twitter, the new social media site is set to go live in the UK and US on Thursday, with the service already being available for pre-order on various app stores.

However, according to an article in the Irish Independent, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) said it has not received any notice of the platform launching within the EU.

The DPC is responsible for regulating Meta’s services due to the tech giant’s European headquarters being based in Ireland. It said it had no notification that Threads would be rolled out in the EU “at this point”.

A spokesman for Meta has since reportedly confirmed to Politico that it was not planning to launch the service in EU territories at this time.

Although the spokesman declined to make further comment on the issue, both the Irish Independent and Politico speculate that Meta’s decision to not launch the app in the EU could be down to the bloc’s strict data processing laws. That is because the Threads app is set to process data in the US and UK in a way that may not be permitted in the EU, they said.

The raft of regulations implemented by Brussels have been causing problems for social media services already active within the bloc, with Twitter coming under significant fire amid changes being implemented by Musk.

In particular, his push for the platform to embrace what he calls freedom of speech has angered European regulators, with Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton having repeatedly threatened to have Twitter banned in the EU if it fails to implement certain censorship requirements outlined in the Digital Services Act.

A subsequent decision by Musk to pull the platform out of the EU’s voluntary code of practice against disinformation also appeared to draw the ire of the lawmaker, who warned that the firm could not escape the bloc’s grasp.

“You can run but you can’t hide,” he said.

“Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be a legal obligation under [the Digital Services Act] as of August 25,” he added.

“Our teams will be ready for enforcement.”