Twitter has made another U-turn to a policy change. It Sunday announced a new policy to ban links to rival social media platforms and retracted it hours later. The company is now asking the public whether it should introduce such a policy. Meanwhile, it has also reinstated the suspended accounts of several journalists and Mastodon, a new social media company that is emerging as a Twitter alternative.
Twitter planned to ban links to rival platforms
In its original announcement, Twitter said that it will not allow “free promotion” of competing services like Mastodon, Facebook, Instagram, Tribel, Post, Nostr, and Donald Trump’s Truth Social on its platform (via). Well, it already blocks people from posting about Mastodon. But the new policy applied to accounts whose “main purpose” is to promote their content on other platforms. Such users were not allowed to include links to these platforms in their Twitter bio or tweets. They could not even use third-party aggregators like Linktree and Link.bio to send their followers to other platforms. Violation could result in a permanent ban.
Twitter explained all the terms in a new policy document on its website. However, the company deleted the document as well as the original tweet from Twitter Support within hours of the announcement. It’s unclear what triggered such a quick U-turn but widespread user backlash could be the reason. Twitter CEO Elon Musk seems to have changed his mind. And as he often does, he is now running a public poll asking whether the social network behemoth should introduce a policy to ban the promotion of rival platforms. The poll has been published by Twitter Safety rather than Musk himself, though.
As of this writing, nearly 230,000 people have voted with 87 percent of them unsurprisingly going against this idea. Musk usually goes with the public following such polls. If he listens to users this time, the policy that briefly existed on Sunday may never be back. Accounts that were suspended under this policy yesterday have already been reinstated.
Twitter has also reinstated Mastodon and suspended journalists
Twitter last week banned Mastodon and several prominent journalists for violating its new doxxing rules. The rules concern sharing the live location of anyone without permission on the platform. It came after the company permanently suspended an account sharing the real-time location of Elon Musk’s private plane. Mastodon as well as the journalists were suspended for similar policy violations.
Musk later ran a poll asking whether he should lift the suspension “now” or after a week. Most people said “now” and as promised, he has lifted the suspension. It will be interesting to see whether the Twitter CEO does what the public says about the latest policy to ban links to rival platforms. We will keep you in the loop regarding this matter.
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