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Twitter or Threads? Egypt's activists join but not sold on Meta's idea yet

Activists weigh concerns about misogyny and chaos on the pre-existing platform vs. censorship and data collection on Meta's new offering.
This photo illustration created in Washington, DC, on July 5, 2023, shows the Twitter logo reflected near the logo for Threads, an Instagram app. Facebook owner Meta's new Threads app, meant to compete with Twitter, was available for pre-order on mobile app stores on iPhone and Android operating systems on July 5, 2023. Listed as "Threads, an Instagram app," the new program should be available in the coming days, and is described on Apple's app store as "Instagram's text-based conversation app." (Photo by S

For many Egyptian activists, Twitter has felt like home since the Arab Spring which began in 2011 with millions taking to the streets in Cairo and Tunis to depose authoritarian leaders. Twitter's golden moment and rise to prominence is inherently tied to activism and news sharing at the time, with the Arab Spring specifically exploding its potential for awareness, organization, and political action. 

However, the recent troubles at Twitter and the emergence of Meta's Threads raises the question: will it replace Twitter as a tool for activism and organization? 

Zuckerberg-Musk feud 

The feud between Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been escalating in the last few weeks before the launch of Threads. The tension between the two billionaires of rival social media giants has taken an unusual turn with talk of a UFC-style cage fight. While the physical fight may not happen, the war of words between the two has continued as Threads registered over 70 million accounts in one day — almost a quarter of Twitter's total. 

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