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Twitter Trouble

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
April 8, 2023; ported here on May 30, 2024

On April 7–8, Twitter was not allowing “likes” and “retweets” of (some? all?) posts that contained links to articles hosted at Substack. There’s a Verge article and follow-up about this. See also Substack’s articles announcing its “Notes” feature and responding to the Twitter actions. What’s more, Twitter was warning people about clicking on Substack links. Here’s an example:

Twitter marks one of Kelly Maher's Tweets linking to a Substack article about goats as unsafe.

This is a big problem for me, because, as you may have noticed, I publish articles at Substack. [May 30, 2024 Update: I no longer publish at Substack.] As long as Twitter punishes Substack content (whether intentionally or not), it is actively undermining my ability to inform and develop my audience.

Twitter’s actions anger me. I have been on that site for many years, and I have spent extraordinary time maintaining useful “read” lists, building my 5,673 followers (as of April 8), and posting a steady stream of good content.

Twitter already has driven away several people whom I considered “must-follow” on the site. Ian Silverii left Twitter, as Westword reported. Now it is driving away more people, including journalist Laura Jedeed:

After Twitter marked one of her Tweets as unsafe for linking to a Substack article, Laura Jedeed announces she's leaving Twitter.

So Twitter is actively undermining the “network effect” that makes it so valuable by driving away important people from that network.

(By the way, you can subscribe to the Substacks of Kelly Maher and Laura Jedeed [now on BeHiiv], two of the people getting “warning” messages.)

I am not sure that I should actively post to Twitter at this point. I feel like doing so is rewarding the site for screwing me over. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this. Of course, Twitter could change its policies. At this point, I wish Elon Musk would sell it and focus his energies on building rockets. Maybe someone else could competently manage it.

The good news is that Substack seems like a very reliable platform with generally good policies. I’ve already been using Substack partly as a substitute for Twitter with my “Roundups” (here) and my “News Miners” (over at Colorado Pickaxe). Now I’ll probably do more of that. Indeed, I’m seriously thinking about not posting to Twitter at all and running all my content through Substack.

I don’t know when the Substack “Notes” feature is coming out or whether I’ll use it. Maybe I’ll switch to that, or maybe I’ll just continue to compile links and notes for regular Substack.

At any rate, you can help me to expand my audience simply by recommending that others subscribe to my Substacks via email. Again, I make all of my content available for free to all users, although I also welcome paid subscriptions. Indeed, I could write a lot more content if I earned more money doing it.

Incidentally, even if you do not live in Colorado, you might be interested in also subscribing to Pickaxe, as much of the content there has broader implications. See, for example, my recent article there, “O’Toole’s Bizarre ‘Libertarian’ Case for Land-Use Socialism.” [Now hosted here at]

I’m not sure how changes to the social media world will shake out. Regardless, I hope to see you on the other side!

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