There was a curious exchange on Meta Platforms new Threads app recently — curious in that there wasn’t really an exchange at all. An angry American Airlines passenger posted a message asking the airline why their flight had been canceled — and nothing happened.

It spoke to the crucial difference between Threads and the site it might replace, Twitter. The same complaint over on Elon Musk’s app probably would have seen the airline’s customer service operation spring into action, replying to the user in fear that shoddy treatment would first be seen by dozens, then hundreds, and then maybe thousands.

The risk of going viral on Twitter — for the wrong reasons — is what kept many companies, politicians and other prominent entities in check. This proximity to power made Twitter a breakthrough. It brought both positive and negative consequences.