Twitter has been accused of deliberately restricting Telegram and Mastodon

Twitter does not return any results for the Telegram query. And some Mastodon-related tweets are marked with a warning banner.

Searches using a keyword that were unsuccessful and messages published by Internet users are now accompanied by a warning insert. These are the funny observations that some Internet users have been making lately on Twitter. Observations also made by Numerama’s editorial staff.

No results on Telegram

First discovery: searches using the keyword Telegram returned nothing. Whether on the website or the mobile application (Android or iOS), Twitter displays an error message: ” Something went wrong. Try reloading the page “. A temporary banner also appears, indicating that this request is ” is invalid “.

No explanation was given by official support twitter account on December 12. Elon Musk also did not mention the Telegram case, although he has been the new boss of the social network since the end of October. The topic doesn’t come up either. Twitter help pages and in its community guidelinesaccording to our findings.

There was an error searching Telegram. // Source: Screenshot

Telegram is an instant messenger available in a mobile application available on Android and iOS. It is similar to solutions like Signal or WhatsApp: you can start one-on-one or group discussions, send documents and files, make a video and so on. It has the optional ability to encrypt messages end-to-end.

The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, did not respond to the observations made by Internet users. On Twitter and on Telegram, the Russian has never commented on Twitter politics or Elon Musk’s actions — in any case, no mention appears in any thread going back months. And the hypothesis of a failed search should be eliminated, because other requests pass.

A warning banner

Second observation, which seems to concern only Internet users on Twitter based in the United States: the publications that broadcast Mastodon are visible, for some of them, with a warning banner. An example can be seen in the tweet of Joshua Topolsky, journalist and founder of The Verge and several other prominent publications.

The tweet in question reads: I will definitely be posting here less often. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Mastodon and I strongly suggest you join the team there – if you have any questions about it, I’d be happy to try to answer them. Meet you there! “. There is also a link to his Mastodon profile.

Joshua Topolsky then posted another message where he shared the capture of his tweet to show the presence of this banner that announced the following message: “ we have placed a warning on this tweet because it may contain sensitive content “. This alert also appears when the tweet is included in an article, to hide the profile link.

Again, no explanation was provided by Elon Musk or Twitter on either of his accounts or support pages. Joshua Topolsky suggests deliberate action on Twitter’s part, but provides no proof. According to him, this could be a sign that the move from Twitter to Mastodon will be quite significant. And worry about Twitter.

Mastodon looks more like a Twitter rival than Telegram, with a somewhat similar operation, except that the platform is completely decentralized. Mastodon is organized into “instances”, which are servers managed by one or more people. Each instance follows its own moderation rules which can be worse or worse.

These banners obviously do not (yet) exist in France, as some services are currently reserved only for Americans – such as the recent relaunch of the paid subscription combined with identity verification. We reached out to Twitter for clarification, but the social network did not respond at the time of publishing this article.

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