Twitter will no longer allow users to promote their accounts on at least seven other major social sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Truth Social, the platform announced on Sunday.
It new policy It comes after many users recently began linking to their accounts on other sites following Elon Musk’s takeover as Twitter CEO and the platform’s reinstatement of far-right users, suspensions and mass firings of journalists.
“We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms. However, we will no longer allow free advertising on Twitter for some social media platforms.” – Twitter Support. on Twitter Sunday.
“Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely to promote other social platforms and content that contain links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post,” the post said. continued.
The policy will also prohibit third-party link aggregators, including linktr.ee and lnk.bio. announcedadding that it will also seek to remove users who try to circumvent the rules by spelling “dot” and sharing screenshots of their handles on banned platforms, among other means to circumvent the restrictions.
The policy marks Twitter’s most significant change under Musk and is among the most expansive of the social media platforms’ policies in terms of how it restricts user posts. Other social media companies have few, if any, rules regarding users posting links to their accounts on other platforms.
Twitter did not immediately respond to questions from NBC News.
Twitter’s rule changes left some major social media platforms out, notably TikTok. TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance and is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, according to company insiders and critics. Musk has been increasingly called out for his cozy relationship with China since he took over Twitter.
Reddit, Twitch, Telegram, WhatsApp, WeChat, Weibo, and right-wing platforms Parler and Gab are also exempt from the new policy.
Twitter announced the change during Sunday’s World Cup finals, which Musk attended and tweeted. He was pictured sitting next to Jared Kushner, son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, who founded Truth Social, which was part of the rule change.
The new rules add to what has been particularly chaotic for the company and its new owner since Twitter suspended and reinstated some reporters in the past few days following a sudden rule change aimed at disseminating private jet flights.
The rule could come under government scrutiny, including from the Federal Trade Commission, which monitors potential anti-competitive practices by companies, and the EU, which has rules on how tech companies compete with each other.
First-time violators of the new rule may be required to delete tweets or may have their accounts blocked, and “any further offense will result in permanent suspension,” the platform said. Users who violate the policy by linking or mentioning other social media accounts in their bios or account names will have their account suspended and required to remove the mentions, which must be reinstated.
The new rule will still allow users to cross-post content from other sites, as well as links or usernames to social media sites that are not banned. said. Users who believe their accounts have been suspended or blocked in error may appealadded Twitter.
Others in the tech industry also criticized the move. Aaron Levie, CEO of cloud storage company Box on Twitter“This is just sad.” London-based technology analyst Benedict Evans. on Twitter that the move was “absolutely pathetic”.
Alex Stamos, director of Stanford University’s Internet Observatory and former chief security officer at Facebook; called out the new policy “the clearest statement of weakness I’ve ever seen from a major US tech platform and a clear statement of anti-competitive intent.”
Paul Graham, a well-followed venture capitalist, said the rule change prompted him to leave the platform. “This is the last straw,” he said on Twitter With a link to his account on Mastodon. “I surrender.”
Taylor Lorenz, a Washington Post technology and online culture columnist who was suspended from Twitter Saturday night after tweeting Musk asking for comment on the story and has since been reinstated, told NBC News that “ can’t imagine a worse policy if you want content creators to come to your site.”
“People don’t want to go to jail, and that’s what Musk is doing,” he added. “He’s closing doors and trying to keep people in.”
Lorenz previously posted a tweet on his profile promoting his accounts on other sites, including some that are now banned. But as soon as he was reinstated, which was right around the time the company announced the new policy, he deleted the tweet, he said.
Musk had yet to address the change as of Sunday afternoon, but many users were bypassing his previous tweets, which appeared to serve as criticism of the new policy.
Most notable was one of his tweets in June to read“The acid test for any two competing socio-economic systems is which side should build a wall to keep people out. That’s bad.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.