Twitter will ban its users from promoting competing social networks
AFP, published on Monday, December 19, 2022 at 08:20
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 some journalists’ accounts.
“Twitter no longer allows the 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. As well as “link aggregators in social networks such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio”, it is defined.
For example, tweeting: “Thanks for following me @Identifier on Instagram” is prohibited.
Highlighting his latest photo on Instagram, or a post on Facebook, thus exposes the Twitter user to a suspension of his account. And if he mentions his other account in his biography or his name, the punishment is the same, the network warned.
“If the rule violations remain an isolated action or a first violation, we may take several steps from deleting one or more tweets to temporarily locking the account(s),” details the Twitter.
But offenders are warned: “Any repeat offense will result in a permanent suspension”.
These new guidelines were announced as many Twitter users recently said they were considering switching to other platforms, which likely worried the San Francisco-based company’s new boss.
The change also provoked the misunderstanding of Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, a company he left in 2021. “Why?”, He soberly tweeted.
After several accounts were suspended under the new policy, including that of investor Paul Graham, Mr Musk qualified his decision. He tweeted that instead of targeting individual tweets, the policy is limited to “suspending accounts only when the +primary+ purpose of that account is promoting competitors.”
He then claimed: “In the future there will be a vote for major policy changes. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Later, he even put his future as CEO of Twitter to a vote of the site’s users. “Should I quit managing Twitter?” he tweeted, asking them to click yes or no.
“I will respect the results of this poll,” he said, adding that voting was open until early Monday morning.
– Worry –
Since the boss of Tesla and SpaceX took it at the end of October, for 44 billion dollars, the moderation rules put on Twitter by Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed defender of freedom of expression, have caused concern.
In recent days, he has deleted and then reinstated the accounts of several American journalists, particularly CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, prompting a reaction from the European Union and the United Nations. The Vice-President of the European Commission even threatened him with sanctions.
The multi-billionaire first suspended, on Wednesday, @elonjet, an account that automatically reports the routes of his private jet, then the accounts of journalists who subsequently tweeted about the decision, allegedly they put his family in danger.
They were reinstated on Saturday, but some said they were told to remove certain posts if they wanted to use the platform more.
And, on Saturday night, the Twitter account of a Washington Post journalist, Taylor Lorenz, was suspended for several hours.
“Elon Musk has suspended my Twitter account,” said the journalist, who covers the technology sector for the Washington Post, on his blog.
His account was restored on Sunday, and he tweeted at 12:38 pm (5:38 pm GMT).
– Conflicting messages –
The multi-billionaire boss of the platform has, earlier, announced on Twitter that this is a “temporary suspension due to a previous disclosure of personal data of this account”.
His tweet was in response to Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital – an investment company founded by Peter Thiel, investor and supporter of Donald Trump – who asked him about the topic.
The journalist explained that he asked Elon Musk through Twitter, for an article he was writing, because he could not reach him through traditional channels.
“At 8:30 pm (01:30 GMT) I tried to contact him on Twitter for a comment,” he said, adding that when he then “tuned in (on Twitter) to see if he responded to at our request, I have been suspended. I have received no communication from the company regarding the reasons for my suspension or the rules I violated.”
Elon Musk has sent mixed messages since taking over Twitter, bringing back previously banned accounts, including Donald Trump’s.
But he also suspended Kanye West’s after the publication of several messages deemed anti-Semitic and denied the return to the platform of the far-right conspirator, Alex Jones.