Twitter has revealed why it is restricting Substack links on its platform. As of publishing this article, you cannot comment, retweet, link, or bookmark a tweet with a substack.com link. Clicking on any substack link on Twitter also gives you a warning that the link is unsafe or spammy.
Why Twitter is restricting Substack links
On April 7, 2023, Twitter posted a Tweet in which they implicitly revealed that they were restricting Substack because it was copying its coming soon ideas. Twitter had announced that it will be launching long tweets (Twitter Write) to enable writers to monetize their work. Then Substack went ahead and quickly launched a similar idea.
On April 5, 2023, Substack announced that it had launched notes to enable publishers to discuss and share ideas through the Substack network. Substack Notes make it possible for writers to comment on each other’s notes, like notes or quote notes. This is very closely related to Twitter Write which Twitter announced will be launching soon.
Substack went ahead to say that what makes Notes different from social media feeds (probably referring to Twitter) is that it does not show ads. Twitter might have taken offense with this statement by Substack because it had earlier indicated that Twitter Write will incorporate ads in articles and share revenue from the ads with the writer. In response, after shadow-banning Substack, Twitter said that Substack should stop asking why their links are being shadow banned, and instead explain why they post on Twitter in the first place since they don’t believe in their ideas.
Lastly, it appears that Twitter is ready to take this war to another level. It is now hiding search results for the term Substack. If you search for the word Substack on Twitter, it shows results for Newsletter.
UPDATE: Elon Musk has responded that Substack’s website IP was marked as untrusted because it tried to download Twitters’s database. The ban has been lifted.
You can read Twitter’s full response on why it is blocking Substack in this Twitter Thread.