Writers attempting to embed tweets in their Substack stories were surprised to find that after pasting a link to the microblogging platform.
The message “Twitter has unexpectedly restricted access to embedding tweets in Substack posts” continued to pop up stating that the company is working on a fix.
Twitter appears to have begun to limit promotion and visibility for tweets containing links to Substack posts.
New tweets containing direct links to Substack can still be sent, but attempting to retweet or like those tweets via Twitter’s website results in an error message stating, “Some actions on this Tweet have been disabled by Twitter,” whereas doing so from within its apps or TweetDeck appears to work while failing silently.
In response, Substack founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Seth issued the following statement to The Verge, “We’re disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work. Writers deserve the freedom to share links to Substack or anywhere else,”
“This abrupt change is a reminder of why writers deserve a model that puts them in charge, that rewards great work with money, and that protects the free press and free speech. Their livelihoods should not be tied to platforms where they don’t own their relationship with their audience, and where the rules can change on a whim,” the founders added.
Attempting to reply to a tweet with a Substack link results in a different error message that reads, “Something went wrong, but don’t worry — let’s try again.”
Some new tweets linking to Substacks do not display this error, but it appears that several authors have begun working around the issue by obscuring their links with redirect services like ShortURL to avoid the Twitter block.
The unfortunate situation occurs shortly after Substack announced Notes, a Twitter competitor.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, has made no public statements on the matter.
However, this is not the first time he has blocked platforms he considers competitors on Twitter. Twitter temporarily blocked links to Instagram, Facebook, and Mastodon in mid-December 2022.
Before lifting the ban, Musk said on Twitter, “Twitter should be simple to use, but no more relentless free advertising of competitors.”
“Neither a traditional publisher nor Twitter will allow this.” he added.