Elon Musk bans sharing and posting of linktree urls on bio on Twitter KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Sunday, December 18, 2022

Elon Musk bans sharing and posting of linktree urls on bio on Twitter

While people around the globe were watching a thrilling FIFA World Cup final, Twitter decided to drop a bombshell and banned links promoting other social networks. The list currently includes Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post. Plus, link-in-bio tools like Linktree and Lnk.Bio are also banned — these services are commonly used by both creators and businesses. Essentially, you can’t post links to your other social profiles or even type out your handle in a tweet. (Read More Here).

The Elon Musk-owned company “no longer allows free promotion of certain social media platforms” on Twitter. The company said that it is removing all accounts “created solely for the purpose of promoting other social networks.” It also plans to remove links to content from above mentioned social platforms.

“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 social platform said on its policy page.

Twitter will ask you to delete tweets if you link out your handles and multiple violations of this policy will result in a temporary account lock. The company said if you have links to any of these platforms in your bio, it will temporarily suspend your account and ask you to change your bio.

What’s interesting here is that the Musk-led company will let you post your handle if you pay for the tweet’s promotion.

On Saturday night, Twitter suspended the account of Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz. Lorenz had recently deleted all of her tweets and only had three posts on her account: two promoting her other social media accounts, and one asking Musk for comment on a story she is working on with Drew Harwell, a fellow Post writer. Harwell, along with reporters like the New York Times’ Ryan Mac and CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, was temporarily suspended after posting about how Mastodon’s Twitter was banned for linking to the Elon Jet Mastodon account. He and other journalists were reinstated after Musk posted a poll for users to vote on the journalists’ fate.

When Lorenz posted her other social media handles and was suspended, this policy did not yet exist. At the time of publication, her account appears to have been reinstated.

One of the ways Mastodon has grown is the use of services that help migrate Twitter followers by scanning bios for Mastodon handles. Assuming Twitter follows through with enforcement of its newly announced policy, these services will now be unable to function as people will not be allowed to include their Mastodon names in their Twitter bios.

Interestingly, Twitter is only targeting a handful of platforms with its new policy — not all social media sites. The company specifies the prohibited platforms are ‘Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr’.

It is also banning links to social media profile aggregators like linktr.ee. These are services that offer a unified page of many social media accounts. Trying to obfuscate the link (such as replacing the . in the URL with ‘dot’) will also be considered as violations.

Tweets referencing these platforms are also now banned, even if they don’t contain an actual link. For instance, posting ‘follow me @bzamayo on Mastodon’ on Twitter is no longer allowed.

According to Twitter, accounts that violate its new policy may be temporarily locked if it is their first offense or "an isolated incident." The company will also delete the offending tweets. "Any subsequent offenses will result in permanent suspension," Twitter adds. The company will also temporarily lock accounts that add the offending links in their bios. Once again, Twitter warns multiple violations "may result in permanent suspension."

The policy comes following another messy week at Twitter. On December 15th, a handful of notable journalists, including NBC's Ben Collins and CNN's Donnie O'Sullivan, found they could not access their Twitter accounts. Most of the accounts had either talked about Jack Sweeney or his ElonJet account, which was banned for breaking the company's recently announced policy against public location sharing. While Twitter later reinstated the accounts of those reporters, on Saturday it abruptly suspended the account of Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz. At the time of her suspension, Lorenz only had three posts to her name, one of which was a tweet to Musk asking him to comment on an upcoming story. Another one of her posts linked to her YouTube channel, but at that point Twitter's policy against linking to competing platforms didn't exist and nowhere in its new rule does it mention Google's video service.  

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