February 3, 2023

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Elon Musk’s Twitter blocks username linking from other social sites

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has decided not to allow free advertising on the platform, which basically amounts to posting an account’s handle on another social media site. The platform announced the strange new policy in a series of tweets on Sunday.

“We are aware that many of our users are active on other social media platforms. However, we will no longer allow free advertising for certain social media platforms on Twitter,” the Twitter support account wrote. “Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contain links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post.”

Other social sites like Onlyfans, Patreon, Reddit, Substack, Tiktok and Tumblr have not been listed by Twitter and it is believed that users can still link their accounts to these platforms.

So basically, you can’t promote Twitter’s apparent competitors. The exact limits of the policy are still a bit unclear, but it appears that a user can’t even post an account’s handle to any of these sites. In other words, you can’t post “Follow me @username” on Instagram.

“We still allow cross-posting of content from any social media platform,” the Twitter support account wrote. “Posting links or usernames on social media platforms not listed above also does not violate this policy.”

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

Twitter followed by post the details of the policy, which states that linking to these sites will be blocked at both the Tweet and account level. It was also clarified that using a link aggregator such as linktr.ee and lnk.bio would also be prohibited.

Twitter also said it would ban username posting, even if you don’t actually link, but still direct users to other social media accounts.

“Furthermore, any attempts to circumvent external link restrictions to the social media platforms prohibited above by any technical or non-technical means (e.g., URL cloaking, plaintext obfuscation) are in violation of this policy,” Twitter wrote . “This includes, but is not limited to, spelling ‘dot’ for social media platforms using ”. in names to avoid creating URLs or sharing screenshots of your name on a banned social media platform.”

It really is a wild new policy, especially since Musk claims to be a free speech absolutist. Twitter is apparently so concerned about the loss of users that it doesn’t even allow users to acknowledge their existence.

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

The penalty for violating the policy is quite high.

“We may take a variety of actions, ranging from requesting that one or more tweets be deleted, to temporarily suspending accounts,” Twitter wrote. “Any further violation will result in a permanent suspension.” The same goes for posting these accounts in your bio.

Things were weird on Twitter. Musk, for example, just suspended a bunch of journalists covering him. Now he bans posting that you exist on other social sites.