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Twitter bans ‘free promotion’ of other social media platforms

The social media giant says it will remove content linked to accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon and other platforms.

Twitter has announced that it will ban what it called the “free promotion” of other social media platforms, saying it will no longer allow users to post usernames and links to their accounts on major social media websites, including Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon.

The move on Sunday drew instant criticism from many users. It was the latest controversial policy change under the ownership of billionaire Elon Musk, who took over the social media giant in a $44 billion deal earlier this year.

“We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter,” the company said in a statement.

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It added that it will remove content linked to accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr. Some of these websites have been touted as potential replacements for Twitter.

LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, and TikTok, the short video platform owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd, were not included on the list.

“Accounts that are used for the primary purpose of promoting content on another social platform may be suspended,” Twitter added on Sunday. But “cross-posting” with content from other social networking websites is still allowed.

The announcement comes as many Twitter users have been threatening to leave the platform in protest of Musk’s actions.

In recent weeks, the Tesla CEO has cut the company’s workforce, dissolved its Trust and Safety Council and temporarily suspended the accounts of several journalists for posting public data on the location of his private plane.

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“Why?” Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, tweeted in response to the new regulations.

Others also criticized the rule, pointing out that Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” had promised a freer Twitter when he acquired the platform.

“Wow, for this ‘new and improved platform’ that claims [its] The highest priority is free speech, there seems to be a LOT of asterisks on what free speech means,” actor Josh Gad said in a Twitter post.

Still, Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, defended the policy, saying it makes “absolute sense.”

“When I give a talk for a corporation, I don’t promote other corporations,” he said in a post. “If I did, I would be fired on the spot and never booked again. Is that hard to understand?

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Several critics pointed out that Twitter users are not employees of the company and are not tweeting on behalf of the platform.

On Sunday, Twitter said it would require the removal of content in violation of its new policies and would treat it as an “isolated incident,” but promised tougher penalties for more crimes.

“If violations of this policy are included in your bio and/or account name, we will temporarily suspend your account and request changes to your profile so that it is no longer in violation,” Twitter said. “Subsequent violations may result in a permanent suspension.”

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