Mastodon is a messaging service that has become much more popular since Musk acquired Twitter. Now every link to the competitor is blocked on Twitter. Users who attempt to link to a page or profile on Mastodon will be informed that it is not permitted under Twitter’s terms. The site would be classified as “potentially dangerous”. This is why it is not possible to open links to Mastodon in the mobile applications of Twitter.
The blocking of Mastodon most likely stems from the blocking of accounts that share aircraft data. Twitter on Thursday blocked the popular ElonJet account, which automatically tweeted the location of Musk’s private jet. This is public information, which can simply be freely requested by anyone. The account holder is sequel to Mastodon.
It seems that’s why Twitter was quick to block any links to Mastodon. It is not certain: the communication service of Twitter has been reduced by Musk.
Spaces feature suddenly removed
Twitter’s Spaces feature also suddenly disappeared on Friday. Spaces allow Twitter users to have large group conversations where everyone can listen and only certain accounts can talk.
Musk visited one such space last night, which discussed the ban on tweeting details of public flights. Musk was tackled by reporters who have now also been blocked.
Journalists remind Musk of the law and ask him why he blocks reporters. Musk has no clear answer to this, compares sharing public flight data with sharing personal addresses, then suddenly leaves the conversation. A few hours later, the full spaces option is no longer available.
European commissioner threatens sanctions
The blocking of journalists goes completely against European Commissioner Věra Jourová for Transparency and Values. “The news of the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is disturbing”, writes Jourova. “The EU Digital Services Act requires respect for media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced by our #MediaFreedomAct. @elonmusk should be aware of this. There are red lines. And soon sanctions .”
Musk was immediately warned by EU Commissioner Thierry Breton when he took over Twitter that Twitter had to comply with EU rules. Tech companies that breach EU Digital Services Act (DSA) regulations can face hefty fines from 1 January 2024: up to 6% of the companies annual turnover.
Musk wrote after the Twitter takeover was completed that “the bird has been released.” Breton replied with: “In Europe the bird will fly by our rules.”