If you’re not on Twitter, good. Stay that way and spare yourself.
If you are on Twitter, you probably know the last 48 hours have been, to put it lightly, a wild ride.
Over the weekend—on the heels of banning (and then unbanning) journalists from The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and other reputable outlets who had been critical of Elon Musk—Twitter introduced a new, confusingly worded policy that said it would no longer allow “free promotion of certain social media platforms.”
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And by “free promotion,” it meant linking to them at all.
The blacklisted platforms included Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Donald Trump‘s Truth Social, Tribal, Post, and Nostr (a startup that recently got a Bitcoin investment from Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey).
In addition to banning those, Twitter said it would no longer allow link-aggregation services like Linktree and lnk.bio. That part of the policy specified the ban would be enforced “at both the Tweet level and the account level”–meaning if people simply had their Linktree in their Twitter bio, they were in danger of losing their accounts.
Now that we’ve covered all this, it’s time to tell you this policy has apparently already been abandoned. Not hard to see why: The announcement prompted a massive wave of backlash not just from Musk dislikers, but also from people who’ve been openly supportive of him or his products, including MrBeast. Just hours after the policy debuted, its page was removed from Twitter’s rules hub and the tweets announcing it were deleted.
If you’re going to keep doing stuff like this, yes. 🤮 pic.twitter.com/cZ76VRxROo
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) December 19, 2022
(Around the same time, Musk put up a poll asking users to vote on whether or not he should continue leading Twitter, and said he would abide by the results. The poll closed with 17,502,391 votes, 57.5% of them in favor of his ousting.)
Though Linktree is—we think—no longer banned, its CEO and co-founder Alex Zaccaria issued a statement calling it “at its very core anti-creator and antithetical to the open, free Internet on which Twitter was founded.”
“Linktree was created to democratize a creator’s presence: providing a free, easy, decentralized space for anyone to create, curate and own their digital universe,” Zaccaria added. “This move, banning platforms and limiting interoperability, has real life consequences for those who rely on Twitter to earn a living: its users.”
And there’s another reason Twitter should reconsider a ban, Zaccaria said: “Linktree users drive almost twice as much traffic back to Twitter than Twitter drives to Linktree.”
Again, it looks like this policy is not going to be a thing, but it’s a reminder that creators should always have backup plans for when platforms’ actions aren’t in their best interests.