A recent report by The Washington Post has revealed that the social media platform Twitter, now referred to as X, has implemented a five-second delay on access to certain websites such as the New York Times, Reuters, Instagram, and Blue Sky, a different social network. This practice is commonly known as throttling.
The websites affected by the slow connections mainly include Twitter’s competitors and other media outlets that have received unfavorable coverage, which Elon Musk disapproves of. The Washington Post conducted tests and found that when a user clicked on a link on Twitter that directed them to another website, the link would initially display a blank screen for a short period before loading.
It is worth noting that only links originating from t.co, a site that processes and shortens links uploaded to Twitter, seemed to be affected by the delay. However, the issue appears to have been resolved by Tuesday afternoon as links started opening immediately upon clicking.
Musk’s Public Disapproval of Certain Media Outlets
Elon Musk has been actively campaigning against his critics for some time now. In April, Twitter referred to the BBC and NPR as “state-affiliated media,” which sparked backlash from these organizations and their employees. On April 12, NPR announced that they were leaving Twitter, and their homepage remains unchanged since then.
In the past, Musk has criticized the New York Times, referring to it as “propaganda” and the “Twitter equivalent of diarrhea.” Currently, the news outlet’s Twitter account, which boasts 55 million followers, no longer has its “verified” symbol, making it more difficult for users to distinguish between genuine and fake accounts.
During the same month, Twitter began categorizing connections to Substack, an independent content publishing platform, as hazardous. This move was a response to Substack’s introduction of “Substack Notes,” which offered a Twitter-like experience to its community of newsletter authors and readers, some of whom are paying customers. Substack argued that both Twitter and Notes could coexist without competing and instead support each other.
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