It sure looks like a standard social media feed, but the company’s seemingly aware of that, writing in an announcement post: “While Notes may look like familiar social media feeds, the key difference is in what you don’t see. The Substack network runs on paid subscriptions, not ads. This changes everything.”
And Musk wasn’t happy, as after this was announced on Wednesday. Thursday then saw Substack acknowledge that Twitter authentication and embeds stopped working on their platform.
Links to Substack on Twitter would be marked ‘unsafe’, and if you search for ‘Substack’ on Twitter, you’ll get results instead for the word ‘newsletter’.
On Friday, the company’s founders said in a statement: “Any platform that benefits from writers’ and creators’ work but doesn’t give them control over their relationships will inevitably wonder how to respond to the platforms that do.”
\u201cA statement from our founders: \n\nAny platform that benefits from writers\u2019 and creators\u2019 work but doesn\u2019t give them control over their relationships will inevitably wonder how to respond to the platforms that do.\u201d
2. Blocking links to rival social media platform, Mastodon
In the earlier days of Musk’s Twitter chaos, people were considering flocking to another social media site known as Mastodon, which is decentralised and not under the control of one bitter businessman.
And if Musk wasn’t shutting down opportunities to promote other platforms, then he was suspending individual accounts…
3. Banning an account that tracked his private jet using public information
\u201cAny account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.\n\nPosting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn\u2019t a safety problem, so is ok.\u201d
Providing further clarification to the issue, Musk tweeted on 15 December: “Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.”
As The Washington Postpointed out in its statement responding to the banning of tech reporter Drew Harwell, the suspension “undermines Elon Musk’s claim that he intends to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech”.
5. Removing Twitter Spaces because it was used to hold him accountable
But that wasn’t before the aforementioned Mr Harwell from The Washington Post was able to ask Musk about his suspension directly, thanks to a bug that meant he could speak to the Twitter owner on a Twitter Space hosted by BuzzFeed journalist Katie Notopoulos.
Except the Tesla founder wasn’t too keen on being held accountable for his actions, and so quickly said “you doxx, you get suspended, end of the story, that’s it” before dropping out of the Space altogether.
6. Reportedly firing employees who gave him bad news
Any competent business leader will tell you that the ability to have open, honest and difficult conversations with colleagues about the operation of the business is kind of key to making sure the company is a success.
Back to something a bit more recent to finish and Musk has made it pretty clear that he really doesn’t like The New York Times and NPR.
Amid the ongoing confusion over what exactly will happen to blue tick ‘verification’ on Twitter, when Musk learned the New York Times wasn’t going to cough up and pay for a ‘verified’ badge on the platform, the CEO did what any reasonable person would do, and remove their current badge altogether.
And so, while other high profile accounts still have a ‘legacy’ blue tick to – sort of – indicate that they’re the real deal (even though anyone can now pay Twitter to get a blue badge), there’s nothing on The New York Times’s official Twitter account to denote that they are the actual account for news organisation on the platform.
Since it was founded more than 50 years ago, NPR has continued to assert editorial independence from any government agency, and it says less than one per cent of its annual operating budget comes from grants awarded by federal agencies.
According to Twitter’s own rules, “state-affiliated media” are “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution”.
A prime example of this is RT or Russia Today, which absolutely has links to the Kremlin, and China’s Xinhua News.
Because belittling and silencing those entitled to scrutinise you as part of their work is truly in the spirit of free speech, eh, Elon?
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