(Update December 19, 2022, 8:40 AM IST): Twitter has deleted the tweets announcing the policy that prohibited people from posting handles and links to other social networks. The company has also silently removed the policy page that detailed these rules. Meanwhile, the Twitter Safety account started a poll asking users if the company should form a policy on accounts used just to promote other social networks.
Should we have a policy preventing the creation of or use of existing accounts for the main purpose of advertising other social media platforms?
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) December 19, 2022
After Twitter made the policy change, it received a lot of criticism. In a reply to a user, Musk specified that the policy will be adjusted to suspend accounts whose only purpose is to promote other social networks. However, Twitter hasn’t made any official announcements related to this.
The original story follows.
While people around the globe were watching a thrilling FIFA World Cup final, Twitter decided to drop a bombshell and banned links promoting other social networks. The list currently includes Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post. Plus, link-in-bio tools like Linktree and Lnk.Bio are also banned — these services are commonly used by both creators and businesses. Essentially, you can’t post links to your other social profiles or even type out your handle in a tweet.
The Elon Musk-owned company “no longer allows free promotion of certain social media platforms” on Twitter. The company said that it is removing all accounts “created solely for the purpose of promoting other social networks.” It also plans to remove links to content from above mentioned social platforms.
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.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 18, 2022
“We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter,” the social platform said on its policy page.
Twitter will ask you to delete tweets if you link out your handles and multiple violations of this policy will result in a temporary account lock. The company said if you have links to any of these platforms in your bio, it will temporarily suspend your account and ask you to change your bio.
What’s interesting here is that the Musk-led company will let you post your handle if you pay for the tweet’s promotion.
On Saturday night, Twitter suspended the account of Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz. Lorenz had recently deleted all of her tweets and only had three posts on her account: two promoting her other social media accounts, and one asking Musk for comment on a story she is working on with Drew Harwell, a fellow Post writer. Harwell, along with reporters like The New York Times’ Ryan Mac and CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, was temporarily suspended after posting about how Mastodon’s Twitter was banned for linking to the Elon Jet Mastodon account. He and other journalists were reinstated after Musk posted a poll for users to vote on the journalists’ fate.
When Lorenz posted her other social media handles and was suspended, this policy did not yet exist. At the time of publication, her account appears to have been reinstated.
Twitter just banned prominent journalists who cover Elon Musk with no warning