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Twitter prohibits links that lead to social platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, but will allow those links to exist in ads.

In recent policy changes by Twitter, the microblogging service has now made it tougher for users to take over other social platforms. Discovered SundayThe “Alternative Social Platforms Promotion Policy” prohibits users from including links from their Twitter account to a number of other platforms.

“Twitter will no longer allow free advertising of specific social media platforms on Twitter,” the policy states.

According to the policy, tweets and user accounts are not allowed to link to other platforms, with Twitter removing “any free advertising” as it sees fit.

The list of banned platforms includes Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr. Third-party social media link aggregators, including lnk.bio and linktr.ee, are also prohibited under the policy.

Users also cannot provide a username for other platforms without including a URL under the new rules. For example, you can’t post “follow me @username on Instagram.”

This element is most likely due to the number of users, including their handles for competing platforms, after Elon Musk bought Twitter. Banning these types of tweets may limit users’ attempts to move their followers to Mastodon and other sites.

Twitter acknowledges that this means accounts used to promote content on other social platforms may be suspended as part of the change. Attempts to circumvent the rule, such as using link shortening or other means, will also violate the policy.

Under the section that defines what doesn’t violate the rules, Twitter explains that it will still allow users to “post content from these platforms to Twitter” in the form of cross-posting.

You’re also not in violation of policy if you’re willing to spend money because Twitter will “allow paid advertising/promotion for any prohibited social media platform.”

Accounts that violate the policy may be temporarily blocked until the tweet is deleted. However, further offenses face the risk of “permanent suspension”.

The new policy follows Twitter’s existing ban on linking to Mastodon, which prevents users from connecting to multiple servers on the decentralized service.

Over the past week, Twitter has seen the accounts of prominent journalists temporarily suspended and then reinstated for discussing a Twitter account that shared the location of Musk’s plane. It’s also been reported that Twitter may be violating Apple’s App Store guidelines by forcing users to opt-in to personalized ads and location tracking.

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