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8 Apr 2023
Alana Mastrangelo

NextImg:'Free Speech Absolutist' Elon Musk Censors Substack on Twitter

Elon Musk’s Twitter is now disabling comments, likes, and retweets for tweets containing links to Substack, a popular writing and newsletter platform. Self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” Musk may be censoring Substack to launch a competing product from Twitter.

Now, whenever users try to comment, like, or retweet any tweet with a Substack link, they are unable to do so.

When users try to like or retweet a tweet with a Substack link, they receive a message from Twitter, which reads, “Some actions on this tweet have been disabled by Twitter.” When they try to comment on the tweet, the receive a message that reads, “Something went wrong, but don’t fret — let’s give it another shot.”

Elon Musk satanic costume

Elon Musk’s Halloween costume (Taylor Hill /Getty)

Twitter users can now only issue a “quote retweet” when interacting with a tweet containing a Substack link, meaning they have to write and post their own tweet, with the original tweet beneath it.

Substack founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Seth, called the move by Twitter “a reminder of why writers deserve a model that puts them in charge,” and said they were “disappointed” in a statement to the Verge.

“We’re disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work,” they said. “Writers deserve the freedom to share links to Substack or anywhere else.”

“This abrupt change is a reminder of why writers deserve a model that puts them in charge, that rewards great work with money, and that protects the free press and free speech,” the founders continued.

“Their livelihoods should not be tied to platforms where they don’t own their relationship with their audience, and where the rules can change on a whim,” they added.

Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi, a staunch support of Musk, announced that he will be leaving Twitter due to Musk’s censorship of Substack.

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In response, Elon Musk seemingly unfollowed one of his favorite journalists.

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So far, Musk has not made a public statement addressing the apparent censorship of Substack on the site. This new development, however, comes as Twitter is introducing its new “Notes,” which directly competes with the newsletter platform.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.