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Facebook parent company developing alternative to Elon Musk’s Twitter

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies on Capitol Hill over social media data breach, on April 10, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
March 10, 2023

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is considering developing a decentralized text-based social media platform to compete with Twitter.

Codenamed p92, the new platform would be accessible through Facebook and Instagram and would focus on verification badges, followers, likes, and other familiar features, MoneyControl reported.

“We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates,” Meta told Platformer in a statement. “We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

Meta’s plan for the new platform comes after billionaire Elon Musk purchased Twitter last year. Since buying the social media giant, Musk has revealed a number of scandals that took place at the company before he acquired it.

In December, Musk released a series of internal company communications – later called the “Twitter Files” – from around the 2020 U.S. election cycle which showed how the company used unprecedented tools to suppress reporting on the contents of Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s laptop. The files also showed how Twitter executives struggled internally to justify censoring the laptop story after the fact.

The Twitter Files also revealed that the social media site secretly put users on blacklists to limit the reach of their content. Former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss reviewed the files and provided a behind-the-scenes look at how Twitter limited the spread of certain users’ tweets. 

She posted photos apparently showing an internal Twitter dashboard, where “blacklist” labels were applied to several users. Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya, an opponent of COVID-19 lockdowns, was on a “Trends Blacklist” that prevented his tweets from trending, and right-wing radio host Dan Bongino was on a “Search Blacklist.”

According to a survey from Quinnipiac University, some 37 percent of Americans approve of the way Musk is operating Twitter, while another 37 percent disapprove and 25 percent did not provide an opinion. The survey also found that roughly 55 percent of respondents disapproved of the manner in which the world’s richest man handles purported misinformation.