Substack CEO says he was 'incredibly disappointed' at Elon Musk for throttling tweets with Substack links because it 'hurt writers'

Substack CEO says he was 'incredibly disappointed' at Elon Musk for throttling tweets with Substack links because it 'hurt writers'
Substack CEO Chris Best, and Elon Musk.Sportsfile/Getty Images
  • Substack's CEO told The Verge that Twitter suppressing Substack links was "incredibly disappointing."
  • Chris Best said Twitter's actions "ultimately hurt writers" and there was a "strong backlash."

Substack CEO Chris Best has spoken out about his disappointment following reports that Elon Musk's Twitter recently suppressed tweets containing Substack links.

In an interview with The Verge, Best said he was excited earlier this month to launch the blogging website's new feature called Notes, which allows users to share ideas and post short-form content — similar to Twitter Notes.

The day after subscription-based Substack launched Notes, writers started noticing that links to their blogs that they shared on Twitter were being suppressed on the platform.

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Twitter users said when they interacted with tweets containing a Substack link, they received an error message saying the link might be unsafe, Insider reported. Substack said that writers reported issues when embedding tweets into their blog posts.

Best told The Verge that Substack started to receive complaints about the links not working. He said Twitter had considered Substack Notes as a threat and "reacted very strongly."


Twitter's actions "ultimately hurt writers" who used the platform, as well as Substack users, Best added.

"They're throttling links. They're falsely marking them as unsafe and even trying to throttle discussion of the word Substack. And all of that was incredibly disappointing to us," he said in the interview.

Best told The Verge there was "quite a strong backlash" and many people, as well as him, thought Twitter wasn't making the right decision.

Musk denies Twitter throttled Substack links

Musk wrote in a tweet on April 8 that Twitter never blocked Substack links. He called Substack Notes a "Twitter clone" and claimed Substack was "trying to download a massive portion of the Twitter database to bootstrap" their new feature.

Best told The Verge that Musk's claim wasn't true. He said Substack links on Twitter were working again by April 8.


"We've been trying every route that we can to calm this down and sort of find a peaceful resolution that can help writers," Best said in the interview. He added that Twitter hadn't answered any of Substack's specific questions about how it could improve the situation.

Substack didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

Insider contacted Twitter for comment. Its press department sent an automated response that did not address the query.