This past Sunday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk issued an apology for setting in place a new policy that kicked off a tidal wave of negative comments that resulted in him pulling a 180 in regard to the policy.
While the World Cup played out, Twitter officially announced that it would start to suspend and even possibly ban any Twitter user who promoted a list of rival social media platforms.
The changes were widely seen as a means to force users to stop pushing their followers over to various different platforms instead of staying solely on Twitter.
“Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes,” stated Musk in a post. “My apologies. Won’t happen again.”
Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
“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,” explained the company in a burst of tweets that have since been taken down. “Specifically, 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 company explained that it would “remove any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs) … or providing your handle without a URL” to the aforementioned platforms or to “3rd-party social media link aggregators such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio.”
“Additionally, any attempts to bypass restrictions on external links to the above prohibited social media platforms through technical or non-technical means (e.g. URL cloaking, plaintext obfuscation) is in violation of this policy,” the statement went on. “This includes, but is not limited to, spelling out ‘dot’ for social media platforms that use ‘.’ in the names to avoid URL creation, or sharing screenshots of your handle on a prohibited social media platform.”
The released statement explained that the act of cross-posting from a number of other platforms is not, in fact, a violation of the policy, including from the sites which were listed in the original posts. The media company stated it would allow people to highlight their social media account on the platforms.
If any users go against the rules, Twitter explained that it would make it a requirement for them to delete the offending posts, and they could even see a temporary suspension on the account. If additional violations take place, the account could be issued a more permanent ban.