Jun 20, 2024  |  
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Heather Hunter

NextImg:'Twitter Files' journalist Matt Taibbi may leave Twitter over alleged Substack spat

Twitter Files” journalist Matt Taibbi expressed frustration with the social media platform when he discovered that CEO Elon Musk’s latest changes to the website's code included preventing users from accessing Substack links.

"Of all things: I learned earlier today that Substack links were being blocked on this platform. When I asked why, I was told it’s a dispute over the new Substack Notes platform," Taibbi wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon.


"Since sharing links to my articles is a primary reason I come to this platform, I was alarmed and asked what was going on. I was given the option of posting articles on Twitter instead. I’m obviously staying at Substack, and will be moving to Substack Notes next week," he said.

Taibbi followed up with a Substack post titled “The Craziest Friday Ever,” sharing his explanation by why he planned to leave Twitter, calling it a "hostile rival" to Substack.

"It turns out Twitter is upset about the new Substack Notes feature, which they see as a hostile rival," the former Rolling Stone journalist said.

Taibbi added, "Not much suspense there; I’m staying at Substack. You’ve all been great to me, as has the management of this company. Beginning early next week I’ll be using the new Substack Notes feature (to which you’ll all have access) instead of Twitter, a decision that apparently will come with a price as far as any future Twitter Files reports are concerned. It was absolutely worth it and I’ll always be grateful to those who gave me the chance to work on that story, but man is this a crazy planet."

The independent journalist uses Substack to post his content and to make money from subscribers who follow his work.

The Twitter CEO denied a rivalry with Substack and rejected the accusation that the links had been blocked from his platform, tweeting Saturday, "Substack links were never blocked. Matt’s statement is false."

In his tweet, the Twitter chief executived alleged that Substack has been "trying to download a massive portion of the Twitter database to bootstrap their Twitter clone."

Musk added an aside to his long tweet that it, "turns out Matt is/was an employee of Substack."

Last year, the social media executive had hired Taibbi as one of the few journalists to get access to Twitter’s internal communications following his purchase of Twitter, revealing how the company worked with the government to suppress and censor voices on the platform.

Taibbi released the first of "Twitter Files" reports to reveal how executives internally handled the New York Post's Hunter Biden story, among other bombshells.

As of Saturday afternoon, Musk had unfollowed Taibbi on Twitter.


Chris Best, the co-founder and CEO of Substack, responded claiming that “none” of Musk's claims were true, including his suggestion that Taibbi was a Substack employee.

When Brest tested the link to his Substack on his Twitter account, the link to his page from his tweet worked.