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Meta accused of ‘actively silencing disabled people,’ bans Threads and Instagram accounts demanding accessibility

Threads launched earlier this week despite a lack of key features.

Meta recently launched the app Threads, its answer to Twitter, and while many aggravated users of the social media site owned by Elon Musk are flocking to its competitor, some are already voicing their concerns about the new app. Aside from complaints of Threads being irreversibly linked with users’ Instagram accounts and concerns over the apps data collection, some accessibility advocates are criticizing Meta for failing to provide necessary accessibility features at launch. Now, one prominent disabled marketing social media personality is accusing Meta of silencing her through unwarranted bans of her accounts after she criticized the app.

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After calling out Meta in a viral LinkedIn post, Kelsey Lindell, founder of Misfit Media and self-described “disabled creative,” reports that her personal and business Instagram accounts were suspended. In a second LinkedIn post, Lindell claimed the reason given to her for the ban was that her accounts were “using bots” and “fake likes/follows,” something she vehemently denies. Lindell believes that the bans were retaliation against her for criticizing Meta and Threads’ failure to prioritize user accessibilty, and claims Meta has been deleting comments demanding accessibility features. As of writing, Lindell’s account is still visible.

“Meta is experiencing a PR nightmare because they didn’t consider accessibility in this first release, and because at least 40% of American families have at least one person with a disability in them.

Instead of apologizing, learning and repairing they are actively silencing disabled people.”

Kelsey Lindell

Lindell’s original post details ways to make content more accessible as well as ways to support disabled users, a sentiment echoed by other accessibility advocates when Threads launched earlier this week. In a report from Mashable, Allon Mason, CEO and founder of digital accessibility company UserWay, stressed that “digital platforms have a responsibility to be inclusive, and it is essential that accessibility is at the forefront of their design considerations.” Other users took to Twitter (perhaps ironically) to acknowledge that Threads might end up being a better alternative to Twitter, but without accessibility features, it remains unusable for a good chunk of potential users.

Meta, run by Mark Zuckerberg, owns some of the biggest social media platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook, and now Threads is shaping up to be a solid contender to take Twitter’s throne. Despite some cool features, an app that isn’t accessible for disabled users might as well still be in beta-testing and isn’t truly ready for a full launch. If Meta truly wants Threads to be a better app than Twitter, it may want to own up to its mistakes and try to win back some trust with disabled creators.

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Staci White
Since the moment she listened to her first Britney Spears CD at the tender age of six, Staci has been a lover of all things pop culture. She graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors in Linguistics and somehow turned her love of music, movies, and media into a career as an entertainment writer. When she’s not writing for WGTC, she’s busy fulfilling her own pop star dreams as a singer/songwriter or hanging out at her local coffee shops.