Twitter users will no longer be able to advertise their presence on Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, or Post. In a post about these changes, Twitter says that users who break this policy will be punished “at both the Tweet and the account level.”
This means that users can no longer put links to their profiles on other social networks in their Twitter bios or send tweets telling people to check out their Instagram or Facebook accounts. The policy doesn’t just cover posting links to other sites; it also covers posting usernames or handles from competing sites without URLs.
Twitter Support Page
A tweet from Elon Musk seems to go against Twitter’s support page, which says that users can no longer tweet out posts from banned platforms unless they are also posted on both platforms. “It’s fine to share links now and then, but don’t keep advertising your competitors for free,” he says.
Twitter may close accounts that are “used mainly to promote content on another social platform,” and users will no longer be able to link to third-party link aggregators like Linktree or Lnk.bio. Even with all of this, Twitter is still fine with the paid promotion of these banned platforms (though this feature doesn’t seem to be available yet):
We recognize that certain social media platforms provide alternative experiences to Twitter, and allow users to post content to Twitter from these platforms. In general, any type of cross-posting to our platform is not in violation of this policy, even from the prohibited sites listed above. Additionally, we allow paid advertisement/promotion for any of the prohibited social media platforms.
Twitter says it will remove any tweets that break the rules, and it could temporarily ban users whose profiles have links to social platforms that are against the rules. It will also take action against users who try to get around this policy by “cloaking” URLs to other platforms, “spelling out “dot” for social media platforms whose names include. “,” or “sharing screenshots of your handle on a prohibited social media platform.”
Twitter doesn’t ban links to platforms like Telegram, TikTok, YouTube, Weibo, and OnlyFans. It’s not clear why Twitter only bans links to some platforms and not others. Elon Musk writes, “Twitter should be easy to use, but there should be no more free advertising of competitors all the time.” “Neither a traditional publisher nor Twitter will let this happen.”
Twitter already blocks links to Mastodon, a service that competes with Twitter at the platform level. If you try to tweet a link to a Mastodon server or the site itself, you get an error message saying, “We can’t complete this request because Twitter or our partners have identified this link as potentially harmful.” We don’t know if Twitter will eventually do the same thing to links from the banned platforms, but as of this writing, it looks like users can still post links from these networks.
When Twitter Support posted a thread about the new policy, former CEO Jack Dorsey asked, “Why?”
Dorsey recently gave about $245,000 to help build the decentralized social network Nostr, which is on Twitter’s list of banned sites.
Dorsey says that Twitter’s blocking the network “doesn’t make sense.” He also has his Nostr username in his Twitter bio, which could get him suspended.
Twitter is now banning the sharing of links or usernames to the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post
Tellingly, paid promotion of these platforms is still allowed. https://t.co/4sfDQl62w8
— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) December 18, 2022
This happened after a crazy week for Twitter, when several journalists, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan and The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, were suspended for tweeting about @ElonJet. This now-banned Twitter account tracked the location of Elon Musk’s private jet. Musk says that journalists “doxxed” his location, and he later asked Twitter to ban “live location information” and “links to 3rd-party URL(s) of travel routes.” Musk later brought back most of the banned accounts after asking Twitter users if they should be unbanned. However, he temporarily banned The Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz for “previous doxxing action.”