Dear President Biden: On Threads

Alan Cai

December 1, 2023

Dear President Biden

It is with a significant degree of concern that I received the news that members of your administration have begun to engender a digital presence on Meta’s new social media platform, Threads.

As you may be aware, Threads is a social media site released by Meta Platforms Inc. on July 6 earlier this year as a platform for information flow, operating in a similar manner to X formerly known as Twitter. The launch and subsequent expansion of Threads was fueled in part by widespread discontent over Elon Musk’s new changes to his newly acquired social media site, including but not limited to his reform of the verified checkmark, his unbanning of numerous controversial accounts, and his layoff of thousands of employees.

As a citizen concerned with the growing monopoly of social media Meta Platforms is acquiring, I implore you to temporarily slow down the rate at which new government accounts are being created until further investigation can be completed on the matter.

Meta Plaforms has a strong grip over much of the digital world. The holdings of the multinational conglomerate, headed by Mark Zuckerberg, include Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, each of which easily tops any list of the world’s most influential digital sites. For years, the only hurdle that stood in the way of Meta’s total domination was Twitter. With Threads, Meta finally posits a chance to overcome its longtime rival.

The administration is celebrated for its effort to transition away from X after recent reports of offensive content circulating on the platform. The White House must set the correct example for the American people indicating that hateful speech has no place in America. However, Threads is not an alternative option. By making the switch to Threads, the White House is legitimizing its role as a platform for political discourse and in the long run increasing its user base.

The issue therein lies in the reality that giving Meta more market share gives it outsized influence and an unrestricted monopoly over information not only in America but also in various western jurisdictions around the world. The inception of social media was centered on its ability to decentralize and democratize bases of power in institutions around the globe. Handing over the entire media world to a single conglomerate controlled by one thirty-nine-year-old man serves to undermine this fundamental cornerstone.

To ensure the freedoms of digital users and protect American democracy, I strongly urge you to reduce the rate at which governmental Threads accounts are created.


Alan Cai

Open Letter to Joe Biden