Elon Musk Reverses Course On New Policy After Widespread Backlash, Apologizes

Twitter CEO Elon Musk apologized on Sunday for instituting a new policy that sparked a flurry of negative comments that ultimately led to him reversing course.

During the World Cup, the company announced it would suspend, and potentially ban, Twitter users who promoted certain rival social media platforms.

The changes were widely viewed as an attempt to stop users from encouraging their followers to migrate to other platforms instead of staying on Twitter.

“Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes,” Musk tweeted. “My apologies. Won’t happen again.”

Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022

“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 series of tweets that have since been deleted. “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 company said it would “remove any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs) … or providing your handle without a URL” to the aforementioned platforms or to “3rd-party social media link aggregators such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio.”

“Additionally, any attempts to bypass restrictions on external links to the above prohibited social media platforms through technical or non-technical means (e.g. URL cloaking, plaintext obfuscation) is in violation of this policy,” the statement continued. “This includes, but is not limited to, spelling out ‘dot’ for social media platforms that use ‘.’ in the names to avoid URL creation, or sharing screenshots of your handle on a prohibited social media platform.”

The statement said that cross-posting from other platforms is not in violation of the policy, including from the sites that were listed. The company said it would allow people to pay to promote their social media accounts on other platforms.

If a user violates the rules, Twitter said it would require that they delete the tweet(s) that violates the policy, and they may temporarily suspend the account. If subsequent violations occur, the account would be permanently banned.

Musk tweeted late Sunday afternoon that he was open to stepping down as CEO of the company and said he would leave the decision up to Twitter users by posting a poll.

“Should I step down as head of Twitter?” Musk asked. “I will abide by the results of this poll.”

Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022

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