Elon Musk, the “Free Speech Absolutist,” Bans Substack From Twitter

Elon Musk, the “Free Speech Absolutist,” Bans Substack From Twitter: Substack links on Twitter may no longer be liked, retweeted, or replied to.

While the quoting feature does work, a retweet will bring up an error: “Some actions on this Tweet have been disabled by Twitter.”

This doesn’t seem like it would happen at this particular time. Substack introduced its Notes function two days ago, and it has a striking resemblance to Twitter.

Substack has a significant edge over competing Twitter alternatives since it is already widely used and many authors have sizable readerships on the site. 

Elon Musk, who owns Twitter, collaborated with journalists including Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss to publish “The Twitter Files.”

Mastodon, an open-source social network that saw a sudden rush of members after Musk seized control of Twitter, has likewise been the target of Twitter’s efforts to censor material under Musk’s leadership.

During the month of December, Twitter barred users from sharing URLs to Mastodon servers and briefly disabled the Mastodon account. 

Mastodon remarked on its now-unblocked Twitter account, “Not a good sign if you need to build a wall to keep people in.”

“We’re disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work. Writers deserve the freedom to share links to Substack or anywhere else,” An email statement from the creators of Substack.“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.”

Elon Musk, the Free Speech Absolutist, Bans Substack From Twitter
Elon Musk, the Free Speech Absolutist, Bans Substack From Twitter


Musk is a vocal opponent of the mainstream media, even going so far as to designate NPR’s account as “state-affiliated media.”

These descriptors are more commonly used in newspapers that do not have editorial independence from state government; however, the government has no influence over NPR’s programming, and in 2020 the government contributed less than one percent of NPR’s revenue.

Substack is promoted as a viable alternative to traditional media since it provides a means for authors to monetize their work through subscriptions while being subject to minimal editorial oversight.

Substack, like Musk, has been criticized for its “hands-off” attitude to content management; for example, when authors on the newsletter site distribute false material regarding vaccinations, Substack does not step in to correct the situation.

We didn’t tell you this, however, posting to a Substack from a redirected URI appears to be unrestricted.

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