Twitter users on both mobile and web found themselves unable to interact with tweets containing links to Substack pages on April 7.
When many users attempt to like, retweet or reply to posts containing Substack links, they’re given an error message that “some actions on this tweet have been disabled by Twitter.” In some cases, users report the UI seems to register their likes or retweets, but upon inspection, it doesn’t appear to be counting or displaying the interactions.
It’s unclear at this time whether the issue is a bug or an intended feature. Twitter appears to have cut off the ability for Substack users to embed tweets in their posts as of April 6, but per The Verge, a spokesperson for Substack didn’t clarify whether they believed the issue involved a change to the Twitter API or a bug. The inability of Twitter users to interact with tweets containing Substack links appears to have begun around the same time, however, thus indicating the two problems are related.
We’re investigating reports that Twitter embeds and authentication no longer work on Substack. We are actively trying to resolve this and will share updates as additional information becomes available.
— Substack (@SubstackInc) April 6, 2023
The issue comes on the heels of multiple recent, mysterious changes to Twitter, including several days where the platform featured a Doge image in place of Twitter’s bird logo and nonprofit media organization National Public Radio (NPR) receiving a “state media” label.
It also bears mentioning that Substack announced “Notes,” a Twitter-like posting application that could be seen as competition to the bird app, on April 5.
Substack is often regarded as a place for expert-level bloggers to share their thoughts with like-minded communities, something the crypto community has taken advantage of to a relatively large degree.
There are countless cryptocurrency-, blockchain- and Web3-related blogs on Substack with millions of subscribed readers. As one Twitter user noted, blocking interaction with posts from these authors featuring their work could have a chilling effect on free discourse:
Elon Musk has blocked all Substack links on Twitter from being RTed or liked.
This gives huge advantage to the MSM he claims is bad, but ok.
Canceled my Twitter blue, and likely won’t be on this godforsaken platform for much longer. Please follow me on Substack (link below)
— Erik Hoel (@erikphoel) April 7, 2023
Cointelegraph reached out to Substack for comment.
“We’re disappointed that Twitter has chosen to restrict writers’ ability to share their work,” Substack co-founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie and Jairaj Sethi told Cointelegraph in a written statement, adding:
“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.”
Cointelegraph reached out to Twitter for comment and received a poop emoji in response.