The pathetic decline of Twitter
Some of you know that I’ve used to distribute my newsletter via Revue. It was a nice platform for newsletters. I still have a small newsletter for my less technical audience there. However, few days ago I’ve received an email from Revue that they are shutting down the platform.
I know that many big creators use Revue. I’m pretty sure they will migrate to any other platforms, like Substack. And honestly, I couldn’t care less. So a service closes. It’s sad. Some people probably lost their jobs. This is also sad. I hope they will be fine. I’ll migrate the existing newsletter and subscribers to Substack soon. But I don’t want to talk about Revue. I want to talk about Twitter, that owned Revue.
In case you’ve missed, Elon Musk bought Twitter a few months ago. He promised us all Freedom of speech. He told us stories about Twitter being the public town square, where people gather and speak feely on whatever topic they want. Freedom of speech always comes with limitations, and it’s okay.
But the freedom of speech of Elon Musk—is just pathetic. Earlier today, after a saga of mass exodus of Twitter users to services like Mastodon, Twitter updated their terms of service—and now, you can no longer share links to your OTHER social networks. Here is the updated Terms of Service, and in case it disappears, below is the letter-to-letter quote:
Twitter is where the public conversation is happening, and where people from all over the globe come to promote their businesses, art, ideas, and more. 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.
What is a violation of this policy?
At both the Tweet level and the account level, we will remove any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs) to any of the below platforms on Twitter, or providing your handle without a URL:
Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr
3rd-party social media link aggregators such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio
“follow me @username on Instagram”
“check out my profile on Facebook - facebook.com/username”
Accounts that are used for the main purpose of promoting content on another social platform may be suspended. Additionally, any attempts to bypass restrictions on external links to the above prohibited social media platforms through technical or non-technical means (e.g. URL cloaking, plaintext obfuscation) is in violation of this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, spelling out “dot” for social media platforms that use “.” in the names to avoid URL creation, or sharing screenshots of your handle on a prohibited social media platform.
Example: “instagram dot com/username”
Oh, and by the way. If you cross post or run a paid advertisement—then you can promote other social platforms.
What is not a violation of this policy?
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.
Honestly—I couldn’t care less about Twitter. I never understood it as a platform. I do, however, understand its role as an instrument of free speech in our society. I know that many things happen on Twitter. Twitter is usually the first of the platforms to cover any news, share updates or organize people for a cause they care about. I can’t think of any other platform that can do the same. Facebook is mainly for your friends; LinkedIn is too professional. And there is a hole left, which Twitter used to fill.
But Twitter is a private company, it can do whatever it wants. Yes—it can. And it does. I don’t care about some stupid policy that Musk updated. I, however, despise hypocrisy. Call it “the town square, where advertisers can say whatever they want, but if it upsets Elon—then we will make sure to update our policy to forbid that kind of behavior”. This, at least, would be fair.
My Twitter account is probably going to be suspended, because my last post links to my Mastodon account. You can follow me on Mastodon if you wish so. I don’t promise to post too much, but who knows.