Twitter Mocked for New Ban on Links to Rival Social Media Sites: ‘Holding Us Hostage Ain’t Gonna Work’

Twitter will remove accounts promoting Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Post and other prohibited platforms

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Media figures mocked Twitter’s new policy prohibiting the “free promotion” of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon and Post, among others, Sunday, with “Hair Love” director Matthew A. Cherry tweeting “holding us hostage ain’t gonna work either.”

“So the ‘free speech absolutist’ @elonmusk interprets the ‘potentially harmful speech’ standard to mean ‘potentially commercially harmful speech,’” law professor and activist Lawrence Lessig wrote, while CNN’s Oliver Darcy tweeted, “Translation: Musk’s Twitter will censor even more content.”

Twitter announced the new policy Sunday, beginning by acknowledging 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’s support account wrote Sunday.

“Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.”

The new policy comes just days after Twitter suspended the account of social media rival Mastodon as well as restricted tweets containing links to users’ Mastodon profiles, marking them as “unsafe” and potentially malicious.

As users evaluated which platforms were included and excluded from the new policy, some found it “conspicuous” TikTok did not make the list, while others mocked that Musk is “THAT afraid” of Truth Social.

Wall Street Journal Joanna Stern sneered at the arbitrary nature of the policy, saying that “Poor, LinkedIn” didn’t make the cut to be banned.

Despite the new regulations, the statement ensured that Twitter will “still allow cross-posting content from any social media platform,” adding that “posting links or usernames to social media platforms not listed above are also not in violation of this policy.”

According to the new policy’s page, linking out using a URL to any of the prohibited platforms or providing a handle without a URL is a violation of the new policy, meaning that posting “follow me @username on Instagram,” “” or “check out my profile on Facebook –” would be against Twitter’s new rule.

Twitter also notes that attempts to bypass restrictions, such as sharing screenshots of account names or spelling out the word “dot” for social media platforms that use “.” will also violate the policy.

Additionally, third-party social media link aggregators such as, are also prohibited platforms.

If Twitter catches a user violating the policy, the platform might require “deletion of one or more Tweets to temporarily locking account(s)” while “any subsequent offenses will result in permanent suspension.”

If the violation is found within a users’ account name and/or bio, Twitter will temporarily suspend your account and “require changes to your profile to no longer be in violation.”

Check out more reactions mocking the new policy: