Twitter has, stealthily, introduced new rules that affect links and URLs to other social networks. For example, the new Twitter rules ban links to Facebook, Mastodon and third-party services such as Linktree and more.
New Twitter rules: Ban on links to other services
Both in tweets and in users’ profiles, new Twitter rules prohibit linking, as well as the use of other platforms. Even the use of a handle without a specific URL is prohibited, according to the new regulations.
Among others, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Mastodon are affected, as well as third-party link collections such as Linktree and similar. Also example sentences such as “follow me @username on Instagram” and the like are prohibited and have, in the worst case, a Twitter ban to result.
The platform led by Elon Musk now announced this on the official Twittersupport account, but has since deleted the tweet again after it made enormous waves last weekend. The exact regulations, which could be found externally in the Help Center of Twitter, are also offline again in the meantime.
It is unclear whether postings that have already been made and published are affected by this, and it is not clear from the new Twitter rules. It is also unclear whether the rules continue to apply now that corresponding posts have been deleted, or whether they have rowed back.
Twitter rules would not hold up in court
“The corresponding regulation is unlikely to hold up in court because of its strong impact on freedom of expression,” attorney Chan-jo Jun shares in a legal assessment on Mastodon.
The piquant thing about the Twitter rules: they were only published on the evening of December 18, 2022, and have already gone into effect. The external website with the rules is dated December 2022, without giving a specific date. With no warning time or opportunity to act on them
As Cornelius Roemer reports, Twitter classifies corresponding links to other platforms as malware. For him, as well as other affected persons, a change of the profile (for example, to delete the links) is simply no longer possible.
Also other examples show that Twitter banned accounts that linked to other alternative platforms like Mastodon within a few hours.
This, of course, caused a tidal wave of new registrations on the Twitter alternative Mastodon. There is currently no official statement on the new Twitter rules and why they deleted the tweet and the website again.
Twitter, since the takeover by Elon Musk, has not been so free with the freedom of speech anyway. Since accounts of journalists are deleted, critical opinions about Tesla are put down and more. It remains to be seen what EU Commissioner Thierry Breton will say about this. The already shared that they want to keep an eye on Twitter and possibly shut it down. A meeting between Breton and Musk is expected in the coming days.