Twitter has once anew rushed to reverse an impulsive new policy less than a day after it was introduced. This week’s casualty: Elon Musk’s sudden decision to ban external links to other social media sites.
For anyone still catching up, Twitter posted one on Sunday since deleted blog post It would no longer allow “free advertising for certain social media platforms” on its website. This ban affected accounts created solely for the purpose of creating advertisements, but more importantly also to content linked to Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post at the “tweet and account level”. This means the policy would have banned both tweets including links to other websites and links placed in users’ account names or bios. The abrupt move came just days after Twitter’s launch applies a “potentially harmful” label for its up-and-coming competitor mastodon.
Twitter when not used by trolls bullying Fringe groups and shit posts on the daily news, is and was at its core a shameless self-promotional platform. It’s not surprising, then, that a wave of users immediately balked at Twitter’s reactive new policy. Musk personally responded to one of those critical tweets on Sunday, urging a user to offer theggr proposal for a new directive. After some back-and-forth from angry users who said they could no longer link to their own companies under the rules, Musk declined and spontaneously announced an alternative.
“The policy will only be adjusted to ban accounts if the *primary* purpose of that account is to promote competitors, which essentially falls under the no-spam rule,” Musk tweeted. The CEO followed that with another tweet, saying that polls, believed to have been conducted via Twitter’s rudimentary polling feature, would be held for major policy changes in the future.
Shortly after Musk backed down, a separate Twitter account called Twitter Safety posted its own tweet Check users if the platform “should have a policy preventing the creation or use of existing accounts for the primary purpose of promoting other social media platforms” At the time of writing, an overwhelming 86.9% of respondents voted versus introduction of such a rule.
Mix things up even more, Musk released a tweet just hours before the “policy” went into effect, seemingly contradicting its entire purpose. In it, Musk said “casually sharing the occasional link is fine,” but condemned “relentless free advertising from competitors,” which he called absurd.
As some users who replied to Musk’s tweet have pointed out, the inherently subjective nature of this opinion makes basing a policy on it inherently subjective. This subjectivity opens Twitter’s new rules to the very same critique of inconsistency and arbitrariness that Musk and others criticize so-called free speech absolutists deposited with the previous management of the company. In other words, the world is once again watching in real time one of the richest men in the world learns how difficult it is to run a social media business.
https://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-twitter-external-links-mastodon-1849909896 Twitter Reverses Course on External Social Media Links Ban