Matt Taibbi, a reporter who worked on the “Twitter Files” series of articles about past Twitter business decisions, said he will no longer use the social media platform. Taibbi is apparently frustrated with Twitter’s recent decision to heavily restrict all links and tweets regarding Substack following the company’s announcement of the launch of Substack Notes, a shorthand social network and potential competitor to Twitter.
Any Twitter user who even tries to retweet a message from Substack receives a notification, “some actions on this Tweet have been disabled by Twitter”, a decision that has angered many users, including Taibbi.
“Earlier this afternoon I learned that Substack links were blocked on Twitter. Since being able to share my articles is one of the main reasons I use Twitter, I was alarmed and I asked what was going on,” Taibbi wrote in his Substack on Friday afternoon.
“It turns out that Twitter is upset about the new Sub-stack notes characteristic, whom they see as a hostile rival. When I asked how I was supposed to market my work, I was given the option to post my articles on Twitter instead of Substack,” Taibbi continued.
Taibbi decided it just wasn’t worth staying on Twitter if he couldn’t post links to his work on Substack and announced “early next week I’ll be using the new Substack Notes feature” instead of Twitter.
Taibbi previously tweeted that he personally asked Twitter CEO Elon Musk why Substack was restricted on Twitter and received no response. It’s not immediately clear if Taibbi received any information about the reasons for Substack’s limitations directly from Musk or anyone else on Twitter.
Substack told me via email that he was disappointed with Musk’s decision to restrict Substack.
“We are disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work. Writers deserve the freedom to share links to Substack or anywhere else,” reads a joint statement from Substack co-founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie and Jairaj Sethi.
“This stark change reminds us why writers deserve a model that empowers them, rewards good work with money, and protects freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Their livelihoods shouldn’t be tied to platforms where they don’t own their relationship with their audience and where the rules can change on a whim,” the statement continued.
Musk was hailed by some as a champion of free speech when he first bought Twitter in October 2022. But it quickly became clear that the social media platform would serve as a personal fiefdom rather than a platform governed by a consistent set of principles.
Musk, for example, reinstated the accounts of many people who had been banned from Twitter, only to ban them again for breaking the same rules they broke before he took over. Musk’s friend Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was an example of someone who had been banned on Twitter but was reinstated by Musk before being banned again for posting anti-Semitic images. .
And other accounts, like those of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, have not even been reactivated. Musk previously called himself a “free speech absolutist” and said the rules governing Twitter should be all legal speech. But Jones was banned because Musk apparently doesn’t like him, which the billionaire expressed in tweets.
Some big advertisers have reportedly been reluctant to place ads on Twitter and many don’t even want to be seen with Elon Musk at an upcoming marketing conference in Miami, according to a Semafor report. this week. Musk is often celebrated as a business genius, but he’s clearly shot himself in the foot more than once since acquiring Twitter.
Elon Musk ditched Taibbi on Twitter shortly after the reporter made his announcement, according to Big Tech Alerta Twitter account that tracks activity in the world of tech news.
Musk, as the owner of Twitter, is clearly free to do whatever he wants with the platform. But no one should think he’s operating on some sort of coherent strategy beyond doing whatever he feels like implementing that day. Substack is launching a competitor to Twitter and Musk doesn’t like it. This is why Substack links are prohibited. At least for now.