Twitter to suspend accounts linking to other social media sites

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Elon Musk apologized and launched a poll asking if he should step down as head of Twitter on Sunday night after the company launched a new policy that would suspend accounts linked to certain other platforms, a move that sparked a massive backlash from individuals, including some from Musk. supporters.

Musk apologized after setting up the policy and wrote: “Going forward there will be a vote for major policy changes. My excuses. This will not happen again.

He then launched a poll on Twitter, polling users on whether he should step down. Musk had complied with past polls, although they were unscientific and unrepresentative.

“Should I leave the head of Twitter? I will stick to the results of this survey. he wrote. He added shortly afterwards: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.”

Respondents leaned heavily toward “Yes” in Musk’s poll, indicating that Musk should step down, after nearly an hour of voting: 58% of more than 3 million votes were in favor of handing over the reins. The ballot was due to expire Monday morning before the opening of the stock market, during a period when Tesla stock — the source of much of Musk’s net worth — has taken a dive. Investors said Musk quitting Twitter would improve Tesla’s outlook

Musk’s sudden reversal came after Twitter earlier today said it would begin suspending accounts linked to “prohibited platforms” such as Facebook and Instagram if those accounts are “used for the primary purpose of promote content on another social platform,” according to the announcement. Sunday.

the Politicsdated this month and tweeted on Sunday afternoon, says tweets promoting accounts on certain sites may be removed if users urge their Twitter followers to join them elsewhere.

“Both at the tweet level and at the account level, we will remove any free promotion from prohibited third-party social media platforms,” the policy reads. He lists several examples of such social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Social truththat former President Donald Trump co-founded.

Musk’s ownership of Twitter – which he bought in October for $44 billion – has thrown the site into turmoil. He ousted company executives and installed a team of loyalists, fired more than half the staff and recalled Twitter’s content moderation. He indulged in misinformation as the owner of the site and hastily deployed new and confusing changescourting controversy and alarming advertisers, some of whom have paused spending on the site.

His sudden and sometimes arbitrary decisions angered many major Twitter users and Personalbut also some of his own supporters who pushed his ownership offering rooted in a “free speech” approach.

Already on Sunday, Musk appeared to be losing support from some who had backed his management moves on Twitter over the new policy.

George Hotz, a software developer whom Musk hired for an internship at the company after he enthusiastically tweeted about the business mogul’s takeover, tweeted a link to his Instagram account on Sunday evening.

“If saying that is forbidden, it’s no longer a place where I want to be. This is so far from free speech,” he wrote in a tweet.

It was a far cry from just a few weeks ago, when Musk issued an ultimatum to Twitter staff saying they should engage at an “extremely hard” pace to build the new Twitter.

“It’s attitude that builds amazing things. All who don’t desire greatness leave,” Hotz wrote.

Meanwhile, Twitter users criticized the suspension of Paul Graham, who had praised Musk’s leadership but also promoted his Mastodon account on Twitter, screenshots on the site showed. .

“It’s the last straw,” he wrote, according to screenshots posted to the site. Graham’s account was suspended shortly thereafter.

This prompted hordes of users, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, to take action. “This is bad policy and should be reversed,” he wrote in a tweet.

The moves put Musk on the defensive, and he appeared to react to the backlash, a rare move for the Twitter frontman since taking office in October.

“Paul’s account will be restored shortly,” he wrote in a tweet.

Twitter has cut most of its public relations team since Musk took over the company in October, and Musk did not respond to a list of email questions about the new rule earlier today.

Musk, the billionaire owner of Tesla and SpaceX, recently suspended and reinstated a slew of top journalists which he says violated Twitter’s rules.

Musk lifts the suspension of some journalists on Twitter. But their businesses never left.

In the weeks since the Twitter sale was finalized, Musk rolled back many of the site’s previous policies on hate speech and misinformation, while in some cases turning to unscientific polls to make judgments. decisions, such as the reinstatement of former President Donald Trump.

The new policy prohibiting links to certain other social media sites follows many prominent Twitter users promoting their alternative accounts, often expressing the view that staying on Twitter may become unsustainable as Musk revises the platform .

The company’s announcement on Sunday sparked debate over whether the move could create legal challenges for Twitter.

“This is the clearest statement of weakness I have ever seen from a major US tech platform, and a transparent statement of anti-competitive intent that a GC would set themselves on fire to prevent (if someone had this job at Twitter)”, tweeted former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos using an abbreviation for “General Counsel”. He now directs the Stanford Internet Observatory, “a research, teaching, and policy program focused on abuse in information technology,” according to his website.

In addition to links to Facebook, Instagram and Truth Social, promotion of social media sites Mastodon, Tribel, Post and Nostr is restricted under Twitter’s new policy announced earlier on Sunday. Third party link aggregators such as linktr.ee and lnk.bio are also prohibited. Registering a social network ID without a URL is not allowed.

Twitter said an initial violation of this policy can range from requiring a tweet to be deleted to temporarily locking an account. An account can be suspended if the violation relates to the biography or account name, the company said. Subsequent violations of the policy could result in permanent suspension.

from Twitter abrupt suspension from several high-profile reporters last week, including one from the Washington Post, came as Musk claimed they had shared “essentially assassination coordinates” for him and his family – an apparent reference to tweets on the platform -form suspending an account using public flight data to track Musk’s private plane. Twitter allowed several of the journalists to return to the platform on Saturday.

Musk also temporarily suspended, then reinstated, a second Post reporter over the weekend.

“Once again, the suspension occurred without warning, process, or explanation — this time because our reporter simply asked Musk for comment for an article,” Washington Post editor Sally Buzbee said Sunday. in a press release. “Post-journalists must be reinstated immediately, without arbitrary conditions.

On Sunday, Musk was at the World Cup final in Qatar, tweeting messages from the game.

Cat Zakrzewski contributed to this report.

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