Could the state of Twitter get any worse? Of course it can. While a lot of us were glued to the World Cup final, the social network made major policy changes, deciding to halt any kind of “free promotion” of competing social media sites. Or, at least, it did for a moment.

Twitter announced yesterday it would remove links to Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Post and, er, Truth Social, from accounts whose “main purpose” is to promote content on those platforms. This includes links in Twitter bios and even, it seems, links to YouTube channels and profiles. The company would even restrict the use of third-party aggregators, like Linktree and Link.bio. Funnily enough, if you were willing to pay, you’d be fine. Twitter said it would continue to allow paid promotion for any of the platforms on its new prohibited list.

Twitter began enforcing the policy almost immediately. Yesterday, at 2:17 PM ET, Paul Graham, the founder of startup accelerator Y Combinator – and Silicon Valley royalty – said he was done with Twitter, following the rule change, and told his more than 1.5 million followers to find him on Mastodon. A few hours later, Twitter suspended Graham’s account.

But then late last night, the official tweets announcing the link ban were deleted, as was the policy itself from Twitter’s website. So, well, we’re not entirely sure now. Musk also tweeted a poll asking if he should stick around as Twitter boss. At the moment, the answer is no.

– Mat Smith

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