Science & Tech

Threads ‘666’ logo conspiracy theory can be undermined by one simple historical fact

Threads ‘666’ logo conspiracy theory can be undermined by one simple historical fact

Related video: Threads surpasses more than 70 million users

Since Instagram’s text-based alternative to Twitter, Threads, rolled out last week, a handful of memes and conspiracy theories have surfaced around the app’s unusual ‘at symbol’-like logo – from the inaccurate suggestion it was predicted by The Simpsons (it wasn’t), and now, to claims it’s actually linked to the devil (it isn’t).

The baseless theory - seemingly backed by Twitter owner Elon Musk himself, if his public tweet likes are anything to go by – suggests the swirly icon secretly contains the number ‘666’, often referred to as “the number of the beast” and considered a link to the Antichrist.

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Claiming they “can’t stop seeing it”, one Twitter user asked: “Does anyone else think the Threads logo just looks like 666? The first 6 is forward and white, then the second one is smaller and backwards, and the third one is the black space inside.”

“How to put 666 ‘the number of the beast’ into a logo,” wrote another, in a tweet liked by Musk.

Several other accounts have branded Threads “satanic” over the supposed link.

In fact, the baseless claim became so popular that Instagram boss Adam Mosseri shared a thread on Friday explaining the real meaning behind the logo.

“The Threads logo, in Instagram Sans, is inspired by the @ sign, which stands for someone’s username, the individual, and voice.

“It’s a single unbroken line, inspired by the loop seen in the app when a thread is started,” he wrote.

When one user commented that it “would have been entertaining” if Mosseri jokingly confirmed the conspiracy to be true, the exec replied: “It was tempting, but I feel like that kind of sass would just blow up in my face.”


Of course, this is just one fact which dispels this conspiracy theory as nonsense and baseless, but one lesser-known bit of historical trivia also exposes just how outlandish the claim is.

All the way back in 2005, it was reported that a newly discovered fragment of the oldest version of the New Testament – the second part of the Bible – from the third century gave a different number entirely for the number of the beast.

Found in historic dumps near Oxyrhynchus in Egypt, the text from the Book of Revelation indicates it’s not 666 which is the fiendish number we should all be fearing, but the far less aesthetically pleasing 616.

Professor David Parker, Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism and Paleography at the University of Birmingham, said: “This is an example of gematria, where numbers are based on the numerical values of letters in people’s names.

“Early Christians would use numbers to hide the identity of people who they were attacking: 616 refers to the Emperor Caligula.”

This is in contrast to the far more popular 666, which is understood to have referred to Emperor Nero.

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