„Twitter became the default destination for so much of the press corps because it could tell you, up to the second, about the most interesting things happening in the world. A key enabler of that function is to allow people to share links from anywhere. And while its long-term financial prospects remain somewhat murky, Substack has undoubtedly succeeded in building a compelling roster of publications whose work often shapes the daily news cycle.
The problem with Musk blocking Substack links, however briefly, is that it reveals once again how determined he is to pick winners and losers on Twitter itself. For the same reasons that he forced his hand-picked journalists to post his Twitter Files project on Twitter itself, he has regularly sought to stop users from linking to websites that he finds competitive.
In the past he has put temporarily blocks on Mastodon and Instagram; with Meta now openly working on a decentralized Twitter alternative, no one would be surprised if Musk throttles Facebook and Instagram once again.
This a problem for more than the hurt feelings of the Substackers, Instagrammers, and users of the other websites Musk forbids today and in the future. It’s a problem for Musk’s own advertising-based business model, which promises customers that Twitter will attract a large and growing audience each day to find the news and the discussions about that news. Every time Musk blocks a domain, he breaks that promise, driving away users and the ad revenue that would follow them.“