Twitter Bans Users from Solely Promoting Rival Social Media Accounts

Twitter on Sunday announced it will no longer allow the “free promotion” of Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, and a few other social networks on its platform.

“We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms. However, we will no longer allow free promotion of certain social media platforms on Twitter,” the company said in a tweet from its @TwitterSupport account.

“Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms,” the social media platform, which was recently acquired by celebrity billionaire Elon Musk, warned in a follow-up tweet.

Furthermore, Twitter will remove any content that “contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.”

The news comes days after Twitter suspended the official account of rival social network Mastodon, along with several journalists, for sharing links to Jack Sweeney’s banned account that tracks the location of Musk’s private jet. Mastodon’s Twitter account has since been reinstated.

“We still allow cross-posting content from any social media platform,” said Twitter, adding that the ban only applies to the aforementioned social networks. “Posting links or usernames to social media platforms not listed above are also not in violation of this policy.”

The new policy appears to be a measure to prevent free advertising on Twitter for competing social media platforms.

For Twitter, the weeks since Musk’s takeover have been interesting, to say the least. Even though the company has taken some major hits to its earnings, usage and engagement on the platform have never been better.

Twitter relaunched its Twitter Blue account verification subscription earlier this week. According to a recent report, Twitter could also force some users to share location data with advertisers in a push to boost revenue.

Update (1:30 p.m. PT): Elon Musk explained in a tweet that Twitter’s new policy is designed to prevent “relentless free advertising of competitors,” not unlike a “traditional publisher.”

Update (Monday, 9:30 a.m. PT): Twitter pulled the plug on this policy Sunday evening following immense backlash. Furthermore, Musk ran a poll asking users if he should step down as head of Twitter, promising to abide by the results. The poll ended with 57.5% in favour of him bowing out.