Elon Musk bans Twitter users whose ‘primary’ purpose is sharing rival social media links

New Twitter owner says there will be ‘a vote for major policy changes’ going forward

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Monday 19 December 2022 05:11 GMT
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Elon Musk clashes with journalists in Twitter Spaces before disabling audio service

Twitter on Sunday announced it would ban the “free promotion” of other social media services and suspend accounts encouraging users to move to a different platform.

“We recognise that many of our users are active on other social media platforms,” Twitter Support said in a now-deleted tweet.

“We will no longer allow free promotion of certain social media platforms on Twitter,” it added, citing a list of other services such as Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post accounts.

Accounts that were created for the sole purpose of promoting other social media platforms will be removed, Twitter said.

It added that accounts would be prohibited from sharing link aggregators such as Linktree and Lnk.bio.

“We still allow cross-posting content from any social media platform.”

But the policy change – in an effort to prevent defection from the social media giant – was met with widespread backlash, prompting Mr Musk to relent.

The announcement thread was swiftly deleted, leading to more confusion about the new rules among Twitter users.

Mr Musk said the new policy would be “adjusted to suspending accounts only when that account’s *primary* purpose is promotion of competitors”. He said such accounts essentially fall under the “no spam rule”.

He later apologised in another tweet.

“Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again,” he said.

Twitter Safety began a poll on Monday asking whether the platform should have a policy preventing the creation of or use of existing accounts for the main purpose of advertising other social media platforms.

At the time of writing, at least 85 per cent of the more than 100,000 votes had voted against it.

In a separate poll, Mr Musk also asked if he should step down as the company’s CEO, adding that he would abide by the poll results. So far, 56 per cent of users voted in favour of the billionaire stepping down.

Replying to one Twitter user’s comment on a possible change in CEO, Mr Musk said “there is no successor”, without providing details on when he would step down should he abide by the poll results.

Last month, Mr Musk told a Delaware court that he would reduce his time at Twitter and eventually find a new leader to run the company.

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