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Twitter’s Substack blockade continues as site redirects searches to ‘newsletters’
April 10, 2023

Twitter’s Substack blockade continues as site redirects searches to ‘newsletters’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Twitter’s latest attempt to keep users from going to Substack is done in the pettiest way possible.

Twitter’s continually escalating feud with Substack appears to be going strong as users found out this weekend that searches for the blogging site are being redirected to ‘newsletter’ instead.

This appears to be another attempt by the Elon Musk-owned social media site to keep users away from Substack, as the former appears to be going to war with the newsletter platform. The recent decision by Twitter to redirect searches for ‘Substack’ to ‘newsletter’ has sparked controversy and raised concerns about free speech.

Tweet may have been deleted

Tweet may have been deleted

Tweet may have been deleted

MediaDownloader’s attempt to request a comment from Twitter was immediately responded to with a poop emoji, an automated response Musk implemented after gutting the communications department. Substack also did not immediately respond to MediaDownloader’s request for comment regarding the situation.

What’s even worse, the implementation of this function was done in the bluntest way possible, with redirects even blocking the word ‘substack’ in a URL slug. Meaning searching for articles from MediaDownloader or other sites about Substack won’t work when searching on Twitter. This has concerned many users on the site, especially since one of Musk’s big agendas after buying Twitter was absolute free speech.

Tweet may have been deleted

The feud between Twitter and Substack appears to have started after the latter announced a new feature called Substack Notes. The feature is a social media-like quick feed similar to that of Twitter that exists solely within the realm of the newsletter platform. The feature is not at all in direct competition with Twitter, and in fact, the platform had its own newsletter feature that was quickly shuttered after Musk took over.

Since then Musk has decided to block interactions on tweets that include links to Substack and also removed Substack’s ability to embed tweets on its platform. The feud got so bad that Musk-appointed Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibibi’s relationship with the CEO appears to have ended as well.

Since the billionaire’s takeover in 2022, Twitter has faced a range of challenges, including declining advertiser interest, a struggling paid subscription service, a strained relationship with journalists and news outlets, and deteriorating partnerships with important power users and third-party developers. These issues have collectively contributed to the deteriorating state of the social media giant. If anything, this latest drama with Substack was inevitable.

Substack’s official Twitter account tweeted Saturday night that the suppression of its publications seemed to be over:

Tweet may have been deleted

However, as of the time of this writing, Twitter still redirects attempts to search for Substack. So it appears this one-sided war is still on.


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