Twitter Bans ‘Free Promotion’ of Other Social Media Platforms, Then Loosens New Rule

Katabella Roberts
By Katabella Roberts
December 19, 2022Business News
Twitter Bans ‘Free Promotion’ of Other Social Media Platforms, Then Loosens New Rule
Elon Musk on a smartphone placed on printed Twitter logos on April 28, 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Twitter announced on Dec. 18 that it will no longer allow for “free promotion” of certain social media platforms on the site, including Facebook and Truth Social, before appearing to make a U-turn on the decision.

The announcement came shortly after Twitter suspended the accounts of several corporate news reporters for allegedly violating the company’s policy against “doxxing.” The accounts were later reinstated.

In a thread posted on Sunday, Twitter Support said: “We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms. However, we will no longer allow free promotion of certain social media platforms on Twitter.”

Twitter Support noted that at both the tweet level and the account level, it will remove any free promotion of prohibited third-party social media platforms, such as linking out via the use of URLs to platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post.

Video-sharing platform TikTok, which is owned by China-based ByteDance Ltd., was not included in the list.

“We still allow cross-posting content from any social media platform. Posting links or usernames to social media platforms not listed above are also not in violation of this policy,” Twitter stated.

Trump Truth Social
An image of former President Donald Trump next to a phone screen that is displaying the Truth Social app in Washington, on Feb. 21, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Backlash Over New Policy

The decision marked the latest major policy change at Twitter since billionaire Elon Musk took over in October.

However, it soon sparked a backlash among Twitter users, including Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who recently invested in social media platform Nostr. Dorsey said that Twitter’s new policy “doesn’t make sense” in a tweet Sunday.

Paul Graham, a well-known computer scientist, venture capitalist, and a founder of the start-up accelerator Y Combinator, tweeted a link to his website shortly after the new policy was announced, stating that he would be posting on Mastodon.

“This is the last straw. I give up. You can find a link to my new Mastodon profile on my site,” Graham wrote. His Twitter account was closed shortly after.

Just hours after Twitter announced the new policy, Musk later took to Twitter to explain that he was relaxing the new rule.

Speaking with Box CEO Aaron Levie and news and content organization, The Quartering, the latter of which stated that “telling people they can’t link out to their Instagram is way too far,” Musk said he agreed. The businessman noted that it was “reasonable” that some Twitter users might want to link to their Instagram profiles to promote their own businesses.

The businessman concluded that the policy will be adjusted to suspending accounts only when that account’s primary purpose is to promote social media competitors of Twitter instead, which Musk said essentially falls under Twitter’s no spam rule.

In a later tweet, Musk noted: “Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.”

Graham’s Twitter account has since been restored.

Musk Twitter Jet Tracker
A sign at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on Dec. 8, 2022. (Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)

Musk Contemplates Stepping Down as Twitter Head

Musk later launched a Twitter poll asking whether he should “step down as head of Twitter.”

“I will abide by the results of this poll,” Musk wrote.

As of late Sunday evening, the poll has received 10,277,839 votes, with 56.3 percent of Twitter users voting “yes” and 43.7 percent voting “no.”

On Dec. 15, Twitter suspended the accounts of multiple journalists, including those from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN after they allegedly violated the platform’s terms of service.

All the journalists have extensively covered Musk, who accused them of revealing his real-time location, which he said were “basically assassination coordinates,” and potentially placing him and his family in danger.

The move came after Twitter unveiled a newly-revised doxxing policy banning the sharing of real-time location information or linking to external sources that share such data, citing a “risk of physical harm.”

The doxxing policy states that any account sharing real-time location information of private individuals (which does not include the user themselves) will have their accounts temporarily suspended for an unspecified duration. If Twitter users do this a second time, their accounts will be permanently suspended.

Musk later restored the suspended journalist’s accounts after running a poll asking whether Twitter users believed their accounts should be reinstated on the platform, and the majority of the users responded in favor of doing so.

From The Epoch Times

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