Twitter will ban its users from promoting competing social networks

Elon Musk on August 5, 2022 (SAMUEL CORUM/AFP/Files)

Twitter will now ban its users from posting links to competing social networks such as Facebook or Instagram, at a time when Elon Musk’s platform is under fire for suspending several journalists’ accounts.

“Twitter no longer allows free promotion of certain social networks on Twitter,” the platform announced on Sunday.

Seven platforms are affected: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr. In addition to “link aggregators for social networks like linktr.ee, lnk.bio”, it is specified.

For example, it becomes prohibited to tweet: “Thanks for following me @Identifier on Instagram”.

Highlighting your latest photo on Instagram, or a post on Facebook, exposes the Twitter user to an account suspension. And if you mention one of your other accounts in your bio or in your name, the penalty is the same, warns the broadcaster.

“If rule violations remain an isolated act or a first violation, we may take a series of measures ranging from deleting one or more tweets to temporarily blocking the account(s)”, details Twitter.

But offenders are warned: “Any repeat offense will result in permanent suspension.”

These new rules are announced because many Twitter users have recently said they are thinking about migrating to other platforms, which probably worries the new boss of the San Francisco-based company.

The move also sparked disagreements with Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, the company he left in 2021. “Why?” he tweeted soberly.

Worry

Since its acquisition by the boss of Tesla and SpaceX at the end of October, for 44 billion dollars, the moderation rules instituted on Twitter by Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed defender of freedom of expression, have caused concern.

In recent days, it deleted and later restored the accounts of several American journalists, in particular CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, provoking a reaction from the European Union and the United Nations. The vice-president of the European Commission even threatened him with sanctions.

The multibillionaire had suspended first, on Wednesday, @elonjet, an account that automatically reported the routes of his private jet, then the accounts of journalists who tweeted about the decision, accusing them of putting his family in danger.

They were reinstated on Saturday, but some said they were told to delete certain posts if they wanted to make full use of the platform.

And on Saturday night, the Twitter account of Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz was suspended for several hours.

“Elon Musk suspended my Twitter account,” said the journalist, who covers the technology sector for the Washington Post, in her blog.

Her account was restored on Sunday and she tweeted at 12:38 pm (5:38 pm GMT).

mixed messages

The multimillionaire head of the platform had, earlier in the day, declared on Twitter that it was a “temporary suspension due to prior disclosure of personal data by this account”.

His tweet was a response to Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital – the investment firm founded by Peter Thiel, an investor and supporter of Donald Trump – who questioned him on the matter.

The journalist explained that she asked Elon Musk a question through Twitter, for an article she is writing, because she was unable to contact him through traditional channels.

“At 8:30 pm (01:30 GMT) I tried to reach him on Twitter to make a comment,” she said, adding that when she “then tuned in (to Twitter) to see if he had responded to our request, he was suspended. no communication from the company about the reasons for my suspension or the terms I violated.”

Elon Musk has sent mixed messages since taking over Twitter, reinstating previously banned accounts, including Donald Trump’s.

But it also suspended that of Kanye West after the publication of several messages considered anti-Semitic and refused the return to the platform of the far-right conspirator, Alex Jones.

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