Twitter restricts interactions with Substack links

Twitter has imposed restrictions on interactions with Substack links, including the inability to reply to, like, or retweet posts. While users can still quote-tweet, the retweet button displays an error message indicating that “some actions on this Tweet have been disabled by Twitter.” This action by Twitter appears to coincide with Substack’s recent launch of its Notes feature, which is similar to Twitter but offers the advantage of having a large user base of writers with massive followings, such as Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss.

Twitter restricts interactions with Substack links

Interestingly, Twitter owner Elon Musk has also taken steps to suppress content from Mastodon, an open-source social network that gained popularity when Musk took control of Twitter. In December, Twitter temporarily suspended Mastodon’s account and banned posting links to Mastodon servers. Mastodon responded on its formerly banned Twitter account, expressing concern that “it’s not a good sign if you need to build a wall to keep people in.”

Substack’s founders expressed disappointment over Twitter’s decision to restrict writers’ ability to share links to their work, stating that writers should have the freedom to share their content wherever they choose without being subject to changing platform rules. They argue that writers’ livelihoods should not be tied to platforms where they do not own their audience relationships.

Elon Musk, who has been critical of mainstream media, labelled NPR’s account as “state-affiliated media,” which is typically reserved for publications that lack editorial independence from state governments. NPR, however, is an independent news organisation that received only 1% of its budget from federal funding in 2020.

Substack is marketed as an alternative to mainstream media, providing writers with a platform to earn subscription revenue with minimal editorial regulation. Like Musk’s views on content moderation, Substack adopts a “hands-off” approach, which has drawn criticism for not intervening when writers spread misinformation about vaccines.

As a workaround to Twitter’s restrictions, it appears that linking to Substack via a redirected URL allows posts to go through without limitations.

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