Twitter Bans Competing Social Networks

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Will Young

In yet another important policy change, Twitter has announced that customers will no longer be permitted to link to Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon and different platforms the organisation described as “prohibited.” But the decision generated such instant criticism from everyone with a brain that Musk promised not to make any more major coverage modifications except an online survey of users. Then they removed the policy (but we grabbed it for you before they could delete it, it’s at the end of this article).

“My apologies. Won’t happen again,” Musk tweeted, before launching a new 12-hour poll asking if he should step down as head of Twitter. “I will abide by the results of this poll.” (he won’t)

The incident was Musk’s latest attempt to censor and silence on his “free speech” platform, after he banned a Twitter account last week that was tracking the flights of his private jet.

The banned sites are what you’d expect, probably. Everything from major players (government owned platforms haha) such as Facebook and Instagram, to underdog rivals Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Post and even the short bus riding dipshit, President Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” (hahahahahahahahaahahahahahahhahahahahahaaahahhahahaa).

Twitter declines to comment on why the blacklist may contain those seven websites but not others such as Parler, TikTok or LinkedIn.

Twitter had said it would at least temporarily suspend accounts that include the banned websites in their profile — a practice so widespread it would have been difficult to enforce the restrictions on Twitter’s disgustingly large global userbase. Not only links to other platforms, but even *attempts* to bypass the ban, for example, spelling out “dot com”, would have led to a suspension.

One of the upset voices was the prominent Silicon Valley money grabbing dickwit Paul Graham, who somewhat recently has praised Musk (praising musk sounds like innuendo but I assure you it’s not) – but on Sunday, told his 1.5 million followers that this was the “last straw” and to find him on Mastodon. His account was promptly banned, and quickly restored as the praised Musk emptily promised to reverse the policy implemented just hours earlier. Truly a feeble man with no conviction.

Musk said Twitter will still suspend some accounts according to the policy but “only when that account’s (asterisk)primary(asterisk) purpose is promotion of competitors.” He may as well be suffering pms.

Twitter previously automatically blocked links to competitor Mastodon after the Mastodon Twitter account posted about the @ElonJet controversy last week. Mastodon has grown rapidly in recent weeks as a more stable, less stupid version of Twitter.

Here’s that policy. (You can still see the original here on Archive.org)

Twitter Policy on Promotion of Alternative Social Platforms

December 2022

Twitter is where the public conversation is happening, and where people from all over the globe come to promote their businesses, art, ideas, and more. We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter.

What is a violation of this policy?

At both the Tweet level and the account level, we will remove any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs) to any of the below platforms on Twitter, or providing your handle without a URL:

Prohibited platforms:

Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr

3rd-party social media link aggregators such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio

Examples:

“follow me @username on Instagram”

“username@mastodon.social”

“check out my profile on Facebook – facebook.com/username”

Accounts that are used for the main purpose of promoting content on another social platform may be suspended. Additionally, any attempts to bypass restrictions on external links to the above prohibited social media platforms through technical or non-technical means (e.g. URL cloaking, plaintext obfuscation) is in violation of this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, spelling out “dot” for social media platforms that use “.” in the names to avoid URL creation, or sharing screenshots of your handle on a prohibited social media platform.

Example: “instagram dot com/username”

What is not a violation of this policy?

We recognize that certain social media platforms provide alternative experiences to Twitter, and allow users to post content to Twitter from these platforms. In general, any type of cross-posting to our platform is not in violation of this policy, even from the prohibited sites listed above.

Additionally, we allow paid advertisement/promotion for any of the prohibited social media platforms.

What happens if you violate this policy?

Tweet deletion and temporary account locks

If violations of this policy are an isolated incident or first offense, we may take a number of actions ranging from requiring deletion of one or more Tweets to temporarily locking account(s). Any subsequent offenses will result in permanent suspension.

Temporary suspension

If violations of this policy are included in your bio and/or account name, we will temporarily suspend your account and require changes to your profile to no longer be in violation. Subsequent violations may result in permanent suspension.

If you believe that your account was locked or suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.


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