Musk sort of explained his decision in a reply this week saying that Substack was “trying to download a massive chunk of the Twitter database to bootstrap their Twitter clone” which is very funny – just imagine starting any type of Twitter competitor and prefill it with Twitter garbage — and also a pretty huge claim to make without any proof.
Anyway, Chris Best, CEO of Substack, replied to Elon with a message on Substack Notes, of course. The feature is in beta, so there’s no permalink yet, but he passed it on to us and we’re posting a screenshot for people to refer to.
Best says Substack has been using the Twitter API for years and believes they are in compliance with the terms of service; the implication is that Twitter never notified the company of any alleged violations. And of course Best says the whole situation is “very frustrating”, with a nod to the fact that the Substack writers are actually clients of its enterprise software product; messing with Substack links has more of an impact on small business owners than it does on the platform company.
It’s worth noting here that Andreesen Horowitz is an investor in both Substack and neo-Twitter, so it’s doing very well. And if you’re reading this, you can probably just react to the phrases “free speech,” “Twitter,” and “Elon Musk” in any way to get your Saturday night off to a great start. I trust you. Party hard.