"I cannot explain how absurd and silly this is."
In one of the pettiest moves imaginable, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has blocked all links to the popular publishing platform Substack on Twitter, an almost direct acknowledgment that people would rather blog elsewhere. Even simple mentions of "substack" are affected, as The Verge reports.
"In other news, any link with Substack in its name is now blocked on Twitter," blogger and game developer Rohit Krishnan tweeted. "You can post it, but you cannot like it or comment on it or retweet it."
"I cannot explain how absurd and silly this is," he added in a follow-up. "Not to mention petty and vindictive."
The decision is symptomatic Musk's brutal willingness to silence the competition, using Twitter as an extension of his own beliefs and opinions — rather, of course, than turning it into a "common digital town square," as he promised last year after announcing plans to buy the site.
It's a particularly vindictive move, considering Substack just announced Notes, its brand-new Twitter feed-style feature, on Wednesday. In other words, Musk was likely acting to cut off the competition, given the timing.
"We're investigating reports that Twitter embeds and authentication no longer work on Substack," the blogging platform tweeted. "We are actively trying to resolve this and will share updates as additional information becomes available."
The news comes after Musk already hamstrung countless third-party apps that used Twitter's API that aided users in making better use of the platform by paywalling access to the API.
In short, Musk is actively trying to lock Twitter users in the room with him, whether they like it or not.
That kind of desperation isn't exactly surprising. The company's operations are already in complete chaos, with revenue tanking and Musk making a complete mess of Twitter's Blue badge verification system.
Sure, Musk owns Twitter and he may with it as he pleases — but to act like this is in the best interest of practically anybody would be laughably misguided.
Where all of that leaves the role of Twitter in the current discourse remains to be seen. It's clear that Musk isn't interested in making Twitter more accessible to the world and is hellbent on cutting off the competition — while failing its users.
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