If a Twitter user tries to embed a Substack link in a tweet, that tweet will now automatically lose its ability to be liked, retweeted, or even commented on. Furthermore, Twitter users can no longer pin a tweet to their profile that contains a Substack link.
Just one day before Twitter imposed this drastic and unexpected change, Substack introduced a new feature called Substack Notes that brings a social media-like feed with tweet-like posts to the popular independent newsletter platform – though, to be clear, Substack Notes is not a Twitter competitor because it exists solely within the newsletter platform's ecosystem.
"We're disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work," said Substack founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Sethi in a statement provided to Mashable about the issue.
"Writers deserve the freedom to share links to Substack or anywhere else. This abrupt change is a reminder of why writers deserve a model that puts them in charge, that rewards great work with money, and that protects the free press and free speech. Their livelihoods should not be tied to platforms where they don't own their relationship with their audience, and where the rules can change on a whim."
(Related: Despite his continued empty promises about supporting free speech, Elon Musk has actually increased the amount of censorship that occurs on the increasingly unpopular social media platform.)
An even worse form of censorship exists for Brighteon links, by the way. If a Twitter user attempts to embed a Brighteon link in a tweet, that tweet will not even post at all. Instead, a pop-up message appears that says:
"We can't complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful."
Mind you, it does not matter which video one tries to share from Brighteon, as the entire domain name has been banned from the platform.
It is clear from all this that absolutely nothing has changed at Twitter on the First Amendment front, despite being taken over and taken private by electric vehicle (EV) nerd Elon Musk, who pretends to support things like free speech but in practice is just another billionaire grifter who craves attention.
None of this is a good look for Twitter, which is now losing popularity even with leftists simply because Musk is at the helm. This latest move to limit the spread of Substack links will only drive yet another nail in the social media platform's inevitable coffin.
"Twitter's move to block Substack links is certainly a bizarre one," writes Matt Binder for Mashable. "Twitter itself once ran a Substack alternative called Revue. However, the company shut down the newsletter platform shortly after Musk took over. Both Twitter and Substack share the same tech VCs as investors. Many of the Twitter users that Musk frequently interacts with run Substack newsletters. The Musk-approved Twitter Files were predominantly distributed via writer Matt Taibbi's own Subtack newsletter."
"Elon Musk has repeatedly touted that his reasons for acquiring Twitter was to help level the playing field, making it a more 'free speech' platform, on what he considers to be the 'de facto town square' ... However, it appears that's only the case if you don't happen to also offer Twitter's users an alternative platform."
The latest news about Twitter under Elon Musk can be found at Censorship.news.
Sources for this article include: