A war briefly flared up between Substack and Twitter, with writers noticing that they were no longer able to promote their Substack posts on Twitter, which is absurd. This is not a problem with the platform. The New York Times confirmed that Twitter was, for a time, taking aim at posts that linked to its rival Substack. The reason, apparently, was because Substack is planning to roll out a new product called Notes, which, as stated by the platform, is a way for posts, ideas and discussions to travel through the Substack network. This sounds like a handy tool and a quicker way for people to see your work, but someone at Twitter saw it as a threat to its business model.
I was annoyed when I heard this story as I started my writing journey on Substack and rely on Twitter to get my posts out there for the world to enjoy. I posted my latest match report on Twitter and, thankfully, it has not been taken down. Initially, however, nobody was able to like, comment, retweet or click on the link. Also, if you clicked on the link, it came up with a warning saying: “this link may be unsafe”. How many people are going to click on a link that says that? It looks as if Twitter has turned off that warning now, but I do not understand how a blog on a football match could ever have been thought potentially harmful. It was bizarre.
Twitter is the most useful way for me to enable people that do not follow me on Substack to see my articles. Also, it is a great way for the media and celebrities to cite me. Not many social media platforms allow you to connect with these people, which is something I have been working hard to achieve.
Not only did this spat affect me, it hurt the people who make a living from using Substack. There are many journalists who spend their life building a blog to gain paid subscribers, which they rely on to earn money. Like me, they use twitter to promote their Substack posts and gain subscribers. If that becomes difficult, they will suffer.
Thankfully, it looks as if this has been sorted out now. Considering Elon Musk claims to be a great believer in free speech, his behaviour on this issue didn’t make sense. He should have prevented this and I’m glad he now appears to have fixed the problem.