Elon Musk’s Twitter has disabled comments, likes and retweets from tweets that contain links to Substack. Substack is a popular writing and newsletter platform. Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist”, may be censoring Substack in order to launch a competitor product via Twitter.
Users are now unable to comment, like or retweet tweets with Substack links.
Users can like, retweet, or tweet a tweet that has a Substack hyperlink. They get a message from Twitter saying, “Some actions on that tweet have been disabled. Twitter.
Twitter users cannot issue a “quote tweet” when they interact with a tweet that contains a Substack hyperlink. This means that they must write and publish their own tweet with the original tweet underneath it.
Substack founders Chris Best and Hamish McKenzie called the move by Twitter “a reminder that writers deserve a model which puts them in control” and stated they were “disappointed” to The Verge.
They stated that they were disappointed by Twitter’s decision to limit writers’ access to their work. “Writers should be able to share Substack links or any other link they wish.”
The founders said, “This sudden change is a reminder why writers deserve a system that puts them in control, rewards great work with cash, and protects free speech.”
They said that their livelihoods shouldn’t be tied to platforms that don’t have control over their relationships with their audience and where rules can be changed at will.
Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi is a strong supporter of Musk and announced that he would be leaving Twitter because of Musk’s censorship on Substack.
Elon Musk apparently unfollowed his favorite journalist in response.
Musk has yet to make a public statement about the apparent censorship of Substack. However, this new development comes as Twitter introduces its new “Notes,” directly competing with the newsletter platform.