Twitter bans linking to other social media sites

SAN FRANCISCO, 19 Dec 2022:

Twitter yesterday announced it will begin preventing users from publishing links to other social networks – like Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon – or sharing the usernames they are using on those competing social media platforms.

The social media giant recently purchased by mercurial billionaire Elon Musk also said it would suspend the accounts of users who try to direct other Twitter users to competitors – in what is being viewed as an attempt to halt user defections to other platforms in the social media space.

“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.

“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,” it tweeted.

“If violations of this policy are included in your bio and/or account name, we will temporarily suspend your account and require changes to your profile to no longer be in violation. Subsequent violations may result in permanent suspension.”

The move comes after in recent weeks many Twitter users have been criticising Musk’s management and have begun promoting their profiles on competing networks like Mastodon and post.

However, the new measure is very broad and could result in any number of users being kicked off of Twitter.

Meanwhile, the firm said it will continue to allow “cross-posting,” or allowing other networks to post links to Twitter – for example when a user posts an image on Instagram and automatically allows the message to be shared on Twitter.

The fact that Twitter evidently will still accept incoming traffic from other networks but is restricting outflow makes it a more restrictive social media space, where users will have trouble jumping from the Twitter Web site to other destinations.

In addition, however, the bluebird-logo company said it will still “allow paid advertisement/promotion for any of the prohibited social media platforms.”

Among the sites not appearing on Twitter’s “prohibited platforms” list of banned social networks are Parler, LinkedIn, YouTube, which is owned by Google, and China’s TikTok.