Twitter briefly banned links and username tags related to Facebook, Instagram, and other competitors

While many people took to Twitter on Sunday to watch the World Cup finals unfold, the company I entered New policy prohibits “free promotion” of competing social media sites. Twitter said it will remove links to Facebook, Instagram, and mastodonand Tribel, Post, Nostr, and Donald Trump Social Truth of accounts whose “main goal” is to promote content on those platforms.

Users have been told they can no longer use their Twitter bio to link to their other social media profiles, or post tweets inviting their followers to follow them elsewhere. In addition, the company has restricted the use of third-party aggregators such as Linktree and Link.bio. Twitter warned that users who attempt to bypass the new policy using technical means such as URL masking or less advanced methods will be found in violation of the policy.

However, when the Twitter community came to terms with the rule change, its CEO made another change. Within hours, tweets announcing the new policy, as well as a support page outlining the details of its implementation, came out. were deleted And replace it with a survey Asks: “Should we have a policy against creating or using existing accounts for the primary purpose of advertising on other social media platforms?” At the time of writing, the “no” option has 86.9 percent of the vote.

Prior to the deletion, the support page specified two exceptions to its new rule. “We are aware that some social media platforms provide alternative experiences to Twitter, and allow users to post content to Twitter from these platforms,” ​​the company said. “In general, it is not considered a violation of this policy for any kind of cross-posting on our platform, even from the aforementioned prohibited sites.” Additionally, Twitter said it will continue to allow paid promotion for any of the platforms on its new banned list.

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According to Twitter, accounts that violate the new policy will be temporarily closed if this is the first offense or “isolated incident.” The company may also have deleted the offending tweets. “Any subsequent violations will result in a permanent suspension,” Twitter added. The company indicated that it will temporarily close accounts that add violating links in their lives. It added that multiple violations “may lead to permanent suspension.”

Twitter quickly began enforcing the policy shortly after it was announced. At 2:17 p.m. ET, Paul Graham, founder of startup accelerator Y Combinator and person who backed Musk’s acquisition, said he’s done with Twitter after the rule change and told his more than 1.5 million followers to find him on Mastodon. Twitter after that Graham’s account has been suspendedonly to return it not long later.

The policy comes after another chaotic week for Twitter. On December 15th, a number of prominent journalists, including NBC’s Ben Collins and CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan, found that they They were unable to access their Twitter accounts. Most of the accounts talked about Jack Sweeney or him ElonJet accountwhich was banned for violating the company’s recently announced policy against Share the public location. While Twitter later I return These reporters, on Saturday suddenly suspended the account Washington Post Journalist Taylor Lorenz. At the time of her suspension, Lorenz only had three posts to her name, one of which was a tweet to Musk asking him to comment on an upcoming story. Another one of her posts linked to her YouTube channel, but at that point Twitter’s policy against linking to competing platforms did not exist and nowhere in its new platform did it mention Google’s video service.

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Update: 12/19 at 4:02 a.m. ET: Article updated to include reversing the policy change.

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