In a move that shocked social media users, Elon Musk’s social media company announced on December 18, 2022 that they would no longer allow free promotion of certain platforms on Twitter—except when payment is involved. The list of forbidden platforms included Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr.
Elon Musk has had a string of headline-grabbing moments in 2022, with his Twitter antics and controversial actions making for some of the most compelling stories about this multibillionaire. From dismissing staff in a degrading manner to selling blue badges to anyone with an iPhone from America, which led to a wave of copycats and confusion, Musk has managed to grab headlines with ease. He also sparked controversy by banning professional journalists for publishing public aircraft data that could be easily traced with a simple Flightradar24 search. Despite frequently talking about freedom of speech for months at a time, Musk’s actions have often belied his words.
Twitter Support tweeted the news on December 18, 2022: “We will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.”
The comments are pouring in, with many Twitter users expressing concern over the potential consequences of this situation. One user in particular pointed out that these actions could potentially harm someone’s job, highlighting the potential seriousness of the situation.
Sorry? I get you’re a private business. But this is getting a bit silly. There are folks here who need that for work reasons. This will cost you a lot social media influencers. Is @elonmusk aware of that consequence? @chipgoines @BarackObama @POTUS https://t.co/YHOfTTipei https://t.co/sznVEdoMb9— Aafke Vultink 🇳🇱🇪🇺🌹🏳️🌈😷✌️☮️ (@AafkeVultink) December 18, 2022
It’s clear that this news is generating a lot of discussion and debate on social media, with people weighing in from all sides.
Private company Twitter has changed its policy that confirms the tweets of the blue bird social media, explaining the names of the social media companies that are not allowed, including the Trump family’s brand new social media company.
In the policy, Twitter says, “At both the Tweet level and the account level, we will remove any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs) to any of the below platforms on Twitter, or providing your handle without a URL.” The company also made it clear that users are not even allowed to mention their social media handle, stating, “follow me @username on Instagram … us******@ma******.social” is not allowed on the platform and can result in a ban.
The restrictions on social media promotion on Twitter don’t end with the prohibited platforms and handles. The company has also announced that link aggregators are not allowed on the platform. In a statement, Twitter said, “3rd-party social media link aggregators such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio” will not be permitted. This means that Twitter is no longer a viable platform for artists, particularly indie-artists who depend on promotions to get their music out there. One record label that could potentially be impacted by this ban is Armada Music, an EDM label based in the Netherlands.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Patrick Dorsey responded to the company’s new social media promotion policy with a simple question: “Why?”.
Why?— jack (@jack) December 18, 2022
As it turns out, the reason behind the ban on promoting certain social media companies becomes clear between the lines. Twitter doesn’t want to give traffic away to other platforms and the only way to promote the banned social media companies is by paying for advertising.
Twitter is not the first company to be accused of censorship. In fact, Facebook has been known to block outbound traffic redirection to YouTube, and Google has faced lawsuits for ranking YouTube videos higher than other video platforms like Rumble, resulting in an Antitrust lawsuit. In the past, Dailymotion has accused Google of similar practices.
These examples show that censorship in the tech industry is not a new issue, and it is important for companies to be transparent and fair in their content moderation policies.
In conclusion, the recent actions of Elon Musk have called into question his understanding of democracy and free speech. By rerunning a voting poll about the release of suspended journalists, including Times reporter Ryan Mac, CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan, Mashable reporter Matt Binder, and independent journalist Aaron Rupar, who was suspended for running a story about the Twitter user @Elonjet, Musk has shown that he is willing to use his platform and influence to silence voices that do not align with his views.
Despite claiming to be in favor of free speech, Musk’s actions do not match his words and have sparked concern among media professionals and the general public.
Elon’s appearance on Katie Notopoulos’ spaces with banned journalists, Elon Musk falsely blamed reporters for disclosing the whereabouts of his jet. However, when confronted with the facts, he quickly retreated and left the conversation.
This incident highlights the importance of fair and accurate reporting, as well as the need for individuals in positions of power to take responsibility for their actions and be held accountable for their words and deeds.
It is important for individuals in positions of power to consider the consequences of their actions and the impact they have on the integrity of journalism and democracy. As the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words,” and in this case, Musk’s actions seem to show him as a rich, spoiled child with a toy, rather than a real man who walks the talk.