Twitter banned tweets containing links to Mastodon, a rival social media site. The suspension of Mastodon comes a day after Twitter banned an account for monitoring the movements of Musk’s private jet using openly accessible flight data.
Twitter’s free speech initiative led by Elon Musk is doing well. The billionaire has launched a broad content moderation, de-platforming, and re-platforming policy on the social media platform he recently acquired.
Musk’s most recent controversial move has been to ban competitor Mastodon’s Twitter account permanently. So much so that it now cannot tweet a Mastodon link on Twitter.
Mastodon’s total active users are roughly 1.6 million, which is still a small fraction of Twitter’s 238 million.
When trying to click on an existing Mastodon link on Twitter, a “this link may be unsafe” warning appears. The reasoning looks clearer here, as it links to the Mastodon account of @ElonJet, which Twitter suspended after a haphazard series of suspensions, reversals, and suddenly amended policy updates.
Mastodon, a decentralized social networking platform created in 2016, allows users to create timelines centered on chronological order rather than algorithms. Being a nonprofit, it doesn’t count on advertisements. Its software is open-source and free.
Mastodon gained popularity after Musk purchased Twitter as a potential replacement for those quitting Twitter, particularly those on the political left.
It appears Twitter aims to delete links to competitor sites
According to Mastodon’s creator, Eugen Rochko, the social media platform gained a million new users in the first two weeks following Musk’s purchase.
According to reports, Twitter is currently preventing users from connecting their Mastodon accounts to the service. It appears that Musk and his team sought not only to raise the number of suspensions associated with the @ElonJet account but also to delete links to a competitive site.
Accounts of Prominent Journalists Suspended
However, Thursday’s actions weren’t confined to Mastodon; many famous journalists from CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times had their accounts blocked without explanation.
The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, one writer who had been suspended, shared a screenshot of the post that the website had labeled doxxing: It was a story about Mastodon being suspended because it tweeted a link to its @ElonJet account.
Harwell was banished from Twitter without warning, process, or explanation following the publication of his accurate reporting about Musk.Sally Buzbee, Executive Editor, The Washington Post
A representative for the New York Times stated that Twitter didn’t provide any information to Ryan or The Times as to why this occurred. They also mentioned that they hope all the journalists’ accounts are restored and that Twitter explains this decision.
During a Twitter spaces event, some journalists with suspended accounts asked Musk about the suspensions. Musk stated journalists weren’t being treated differently to ordinary citizens, and “if you doxx, you get suspended.”
As stated by the Mashable journalist who was suspended, he didn’t tweet links to @ElonJet or other location-tracking accounts, nor did he share any location data under Twitter’s new policies.
While journalists claimed the suspensions were permanent, Musk stated in several tweets that they were only for seven days.
The decision to suspend journalists’ accounts is the latest dramatic twist in Mr. Musk’s Twitter leadership. He’s declared his intention to turn the site into a stronghold of free speech, with clear guidelines directing all content decisions.
Twitter, which recently downsized its PR department, didn’t respond to a request for comment. As word of the journalist suspensions leaked, many Twitter users announced they were switching to Mastodon.
Doxxing is the online disclosure of someone’s address, identity, or other personal information.