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 having suspended several journalists’ accounts.
“Twitter no longer allows free promotion of certain social networks on Twitter,” the platform announced on Sunday.
Seven platforms are concerned: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr. As well as “link aggregators to social networks such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio”, it is specified.
For example, it becomes forbidden to tweet: “Thank you for following me @Identifier on Instagram”.
Highlighting his latest Instagram photo, or a Facebook post, thus exposes the Twitter user to a suspension of his account. And if he mentions one of his other accounts in his biography or in his name, the penalty is the same, warns the network.
“If violations of the rule remain an isolated act or a first violation, we can take a number of measures ranging from the deletion of one or more tweets to the temporary locking of account (s)”, details Twitter.
But offenders are warned: “Any repeat offense will result in a permanent suspension”.
These new rules are announced as many Twitter users have recently considered migrating to other platforms, which most likely worries the new boss of the San Francisco-based company.
The change also caused misunderstanding from Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, a company he left in 2021. “Why? “, he soberly tweeted.
After some 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 was limited to “suspending accounts only when the +primary+ purpose of that account is promoting competitors.”
He then said: “In the future, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My excuses. It doesn’t happen again. »
Subsequently, it was even submitted to the vote of users of the site his future as CEO of Twitter. “Should I quit running Twitter? he tweeted, asking them to click yes or no.
“I respect the results of this poll,” he assured, the vote being open until the early hours of Monday.
– Worry –
Its acquisition from the boss of Tesla and SpaceX at the end of October, for 44 billion dollars, the moderation rules put in place on Twitter by Elon Musk, self-proclaimed defender of freedom of expression, arouse concern.
In recent days, he has deleted and then restored the accounts of several American journalists, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post in particular, causing the European Union and the United Nations to react. The Vice-President of the European Commission even threatened her with sanctions.
The multi-billionaire had first, on Wednesday, suspended @elonjet, an account that automatically reported the routes of his private jet, then the accounts of journalists who had then tweeted about the decision, accusing them of putting his family in danger.
These were reinstated on Saturday, but some said they were told to delete certain posts if they allowed the platform to be used.
And, on Saturday evening, the Twitter account of a Washington Post journalist, Taylor Lorenz, was in turn 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.
Her account was restored on Sunday, and she tweeted at 12:38 p.m. (5:38 p.m. GMT).
– Conflicting messages –
The multi-billionaire boss of the platform had, earlier in the day, declared on Twitter that it had been a “temporary suspension due to a previous disclosure of personal data by this account”.
His tweet was responding 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 subject.
The journalist explained that she asked Elon Musk a question via Twitter, for an article she is writing, because she could not reach him through traditional channels.
“At 8:30 p.m. (01:30 GMT) I tried to reach him on Twitter to get a comment,” she said, adding that when she then “tuned in (to Twitter) to see if he had responded to our request, I was suspended. I have not received any communication from the company about the reasons for my suspension or the conditions that I violated”.
Elon Musk has sent mixed messages since taking over Twitter, reinstating accounts that were previously banned, including Donald Trump’s.
But he also suspended that of Kanye West after the publication of several messages deemed anti-Semitic and refused the return to the platform of the far-right conspirator, Alex Jones.