Twitter abruptly bans all links to Instagram, Mastodon and other competitors

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Twitter no longer allows users to promote their presence on certain social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post. In a message describing these changesTwitter says it will take action against users who violate this policy “at both the Tweet and account levels.”

This means that users will no longer be able to include links to their profiles on other social networks in their Twitter bios, nor send tweets asking users to check out their Instagram or Facebook accounts. The policy doesn’t just include links from other platforms either; it even extends to posting usernames or handles of competing platforms with no URLs.

In addition, users will no longer be able to tweet messages from banned platforms unless it is a cross-post, meaning the same message must be shared with both competing sites and Twitter. Twitter may also suspend accounts “used primarily for promoting content on another social platform,” and will no longer allow users to link to third-party link aggregators, such as Linktree or Lnk.bio. Despite all this, Twitter is still fine with the paid promotion of these banned platforms (although this feature seems not available yet):

We recognize that certain social media platforms provide alternative experiences to Twitter and allow users to post content to Twitter from those platforms. In general, any form of cross-posting on our platform does not violate this policy, even from the prohibited sites listed above. In addition, we allow paid advertising/promotions for any of the prohibited social media platforms.

Twitter says it will delete any tweets containing policy violations, and may temporarily suspend users with links to banned social platforms in their profiles. It will also take action against users who try to circumvent this policy by cloaking URLs to other platforms or spelling “dot” for social media platforms that use ‘.’ in the names to avoid creating URLs, or sharing screenshots of your handle on a banned social media platform.

Other platforms, such as Telegram, TikTok, YouTube, Weibo and OnlyFans remain safe from the Twitter ban for now, and the motivation behind banning links to certain networks and not others is not clear.

Twitter already blocks links to Twitter competition Mastodon at the platform level. Attempting to tweet a link to different Mastodon servers or the site itself results in an error message stating, “We are unable to complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as potentially malicious.” We don’t know if Twitter will eventually disable links from the banned platforms in a similar fashion, but at the time of writing, it appears that users will still be able to post links from these networks.

In response to Twitter Support’s thread about the new policy, former CEO of Twitter replied Jack Dorsey “Why?” Dorsey recently donated about $245,000 to the development of the decentralized social network Nostr, which has been capped by Twitter. says Dorsey Twitter’s ban on the network “makes no sense”, and currently his Nostr username is listed in his Twitter bio, potentially putting him at risk of suspension. The edge reached out to Twitter for more information about the new policy, but didn’t immediately hear back.

All this follows a chaotic week for Twitter that saw the suspension of numerous journalists, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan and The New York TimesRyan Mac — after they tweeted about @ElonJet, a now-banned Twitter account that tracked the location of the billionaire’s private jet. Musk claims the journalists “doxxed” his location, and they later had Twitter implement a policy that prohibits “live location information” and “links to external travel route URLs.” While Musk later reinstated most of the banned accounts after questioning users about whether Twitter should lift their suspensions, he briefly suspended The Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz for “previous doxxing action.”

Update, 2:39 PM ET: Updated to add Dorsey’s response and additional context surrounding his investment in Nostr.

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