Elon Musk is denying that he is censoring people after he took strong steps to stop people from using a competing platform on Twitter.
Friday, Twitter made it harder for people to share links to its competitor Substack. This made it harder for people to like, retweet, or otherwise share content from the platform.
Musk has been accused of breaking his promise to treat Twitter fairly, which he made when he took over the company. He said he would focus on free speech when running Twitter.
“Of all things: I learned earlier today that Substack links were being blocked on this platform. When I asked why, I was told it’s a dispute over the new Substack Notes platform,” independent journalist Matt Taibbi wrote Friday.
Taibbi and Musk worked together in the past to write about the infamous “Twitter Files,” a collection of messages between the old Twitter administration and the federal government.
Substack Notes is a new service that the company is putting out. In many ways, it tries to be like Twitter.
On Saturday, the tech billionaire pushed back against Taibbi’s claims by saying, “Substack links were never blocked. Matt’s statement is false.”
He went on, “Substack was trying to download a massive portion of the Twitter database to bootstrap their Twitter clone, so their IP address is obviously untrusted.”
Musk also said that Taibbi works for the company Substack.
Chris Best, the CEO of Substack, replied to Musk’s comments by saying, “Substack links have been obviously severely throttled on Twitter. Anyone using the product can see this.”
Replying to @BretWeinstein Elon Musk Tweeted:
1. Substack links were never blocked. Matt’s statement is false.
2. Substack was trying to download a massive portion of the Twitter database to bootstrap their Twitter clone, so their IP address is obviously untrusted.
3. Turns out Matt is/was an employee of Substack.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 8, 2023
Best wrote about the claims that Substack stole information from Twitter’s database: “We have used the Twitter API, for years, to help writers. We believe we’re in compliance with the terms, but if they have any specific concerns we would love to know about them! We’d be happy to address any issues.”
Best also argued against the claim that Taibbi works for Substack. He explained that Taibbi is an independent journalist who has a publication on the site and makes money directly from his readers.
It’s not clear what will happen next with how Twitter handles Substack content. Most interactions with posts that contain Substack content are blocked and aggressively suppressed, but users can still post links to the site.