Twitter briefly bans linking to other social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Truth Social

Twitter logo at headquarters.
(Image credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Twitter announced Sunday that it will no longer allow users to directly post links to a number of rival social media websites. The new policy lasted less than a day.

In a now-deleted press release, the company said, "We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter." According to the release, this includes banning links to Facebook, Instagram, Truth Social, Mastodon, Tribel, Post, and Nostr.

Twitter provided examples of violations of this policy, such as someone tweeting to follow them on one of these sites or posting a direct link in a tweet to one of these sites' accounts. In addition, Twitter said any accounts "used for the main purpose of promoting content on another social platform may be suspended."

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The policy and tweets announcing it disappeared Sunday night. "Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes," Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted Sunday evening. "My apologies. Won't happen again."

The new policy appeared as some users on the platform have begun an exodus from Twitter in the wake of the company's takeover by Musk. In particular, many liberal users have been posting links to the websites Mastodon and Post, which have been cited as potential alternatives to Twitter.

While Truth Social is owned by former President Donald Trump, NBC News noted that Twitter did not extend the linking ban to other right-wing platforms such as Gab and Parler. In addition, TikTok, Reddit, Telegram, and other more prominent social media sites were not listed as part of the new policy.

Musk recently banned and eventually reinstated a number of journalists who cover Twitter.

UPDATE: This post was updated late Sunday to reflect Twitter's reversal of its linking policy.

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Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.