‘Twitter Files’ Journalist Quits Twitter After Elon Musk Places Restrictions On Substack - Social Media Explorer
‘Twitter Files’ Journalist Quits Twitter After Elon Musk Places Restrictions On Substack
‘Twitter Files’ Journalist Quits Twitter After Elon Musk Places Restrictions On Substack

Matt Taibbi, a journalist who worked on the “Twitter Files” series of articles about old business decisions at Twitter, has said he’ll no longer use the social media platform. Taibbi is apparently frustrated by Twitter’s recent decision to heavily restrict all links and tweets about Substack following that company’s announcement it would be launching Substack Notes, a short form social network and potential competitor to Twitter.

Any Twitter user who even tries to retweet a post from Substack is met with a notification, “some actions on this Tweet have been disabled by Twitter,” a move that has angered many users, including Taibbi.

“Earlier this afternoon, I learned Substack links were being blocked on Twitter. Since being able to share my articles is a primary reason I use Twitter, I was alarmed and asked what was going on,” Taibbi wrote at his Substack on Friday afternoon.

“It turns out Twitter is upset about the new Substack Notes feature, which they see as a hostile rival. When I asked how I was supposed to market my work, I was given the option of posting my articles on Twitter instead of Substack,” Taibbi continued.

Taibbi decided it simply wasn’t worth it to stick around at Twitter if he can’t post links to his work at Substack and announced “early next week I’ll be using the new Substack Notes feature” instead of Twitter.

Taibbi had previously tweeted that he asked Twitter CEO Elon Musk personally why Substack was being limited on Twitter and didn’t receive a response. It’s not immediately clear if Taibbi received news about the reasons behind Substack’s limitations directly from Musk or from another person at Twitter.

Substack told me over email that it was disappointed in Musk’s decision to restrict Substack.

“We’re disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work. Writers deserve the freedom to share links to Substack or anywhere else,” a joint statement from Substack co-founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Sethi reads.

“This abrupt change is a reminder of why writers deserve a model that puts them in charge, that rewards great work with money, and that protects the free press and free speech. Their livelihoods should not be tied to platforms where they don’t own their relationship with their audience, and where the rules can change on a whim,” the statement continues.

Musk was seen by many as the champion of freedom speech in his purchase of Twitter in October 2022. It quickly became clear that the social media platform would be Musk’s personal fiefdom and not governed by any set of consistent principles.

Musk for example, bans many of the people he had banned from Twitter for violating the rules. Musk’s friend Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was an example of someone who had been banned on Twitter but was reinstated by Musk before he was banned yet again for posting antisemitic imagery.

And other accounts, like those of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, didn’t even get re-activated. Musk previously called himself a “free speech absolutist” and said the rules governing Twitter should be any legal speech. But Jones was banned because Musk apparently doesn’t like him, something the billionaire has expressed in tweets.

Some major advertisers have reportedly been reluctant to place ads on Twitter and many don’t even want to be seen with Elon Musk at an upcoming marketing conference in Miami, according to a report from Semafor this week. Musk is often celebrated as a business genius, but he’s clearly shot himself in the foot more than once since acquiring Twitter.

According to reports, Elon Musk deleted Taibbi’s Twitter account shortly after the journalist announced his decision. Big Tech AlertThis Twitter account tracks the activity of people in tech news.

Musk is the sole owner of Twitter and has the freedom to use the platform as he pleases. But no one should think he’s operating on some kind of coherent strategy beyond doing whatever he feels like implementing that day. Substack is launching a competitor to Twitter and Musk doesn’t like it. So that’s why Substack links are banned. For now, at least.

SME Paid Under

About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

VIP Explorer’s Club