Substack founders respond to Twitter’s restrictions on tweets with links to competing platform

Twitter has suddenly restricted the use of sharing links to Substack, prompting the founders to fire back

Late this week, Twitter users began noticing a sudden restriction in promoting Substack and linking to the service. It appears as though Twitter unauthorizes users to like, reply, and retweet tweets featuring links of the competing platform. Substack founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Sethi have issued a statement.

In response to Twitter’s sudden restrictions, the founders state, “We’re disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work.” 

Shared with The Verge, the statement continues to read, “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. 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.”

This ordeal began when Substack announced “Notes” a Twitter-like feature to be used on the platform. Notes enables users to write and publish small posts and include “quotes, comments, images, and links.” Truth be told, the new Substack feature looks very reminiscent of Twitter’s UI. There are similar icons representing likes, replies, and reshares (Substack’s equivalent of a retweet). Plus, the main page offers users a ‘Home’ and ‘Subscribed’ feeds to switch between.

Twitter — and to a likely further extent CEO Elon Musk — did not take kindly to this, apparently. It wasn’t long until Substack embeds and further authorization was restricted.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has attempted to crackdown on competing services. In December, the social media platform attempted to ban links to Mastodon, Instagram, Linktree, etc. Third-party developers are also attempting to keep up with the changes to Twitter’s new API tiers. Launched last month, Twitter is now charging developers big and small to use its API.

Substack has been growing in popularity, especially as an alternative to Twitter. For many journalists, the tools Substack provides may be more tantalizing than the current landscape of Twitter. Musk has often claimed to be a proprietor of free speech yet subsequent actions and policies beg to differ. 

Image credit: Substack

Via: The Verge