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Elon Musk’s X Throttling Sites That Have Wronged Him

Elon Musk’s X Throttling Sites That Have Wronged Him

Ivana Shteriova
Elon Musk-owned X (formerly Twitter), has been selectively targeting sites like The New York Times, Reuters, Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Bluesky, and Substack with slower-than-usual load times, The Washington Post reports.

Compared to other sites that loaded in seconds, links for the affected sites posted to X took about five seconds to load. The issue is now fixed, and all sites are loading as expected.

The delays were first reported by a user on the technology discussion forum Hacker News. The Washington Post looked further into the issue, discovering a handful of sites experiencing delays in loading times while others were loading as usual. According to the newspaper’s analysis, all the affected sites have something in common: they are either X’s competitors or had disagreements with Musk in the past.

The New York Times, for example, has a long unfavorable history with Elon Musk. At one instance, Musk called the site “propaganda.” In April, he removed the newspaper’s “verified” badge from its X account, making it more challenging for readers to distinguish the news outlet’s official account from fake ones.

It’s not the first time Substack, another of the affected sites, has had disagreements with Musk. When the company announced its Twitter-like Notes feature, X temporarily disabled likes, replies, and shares for tweets containing Substack links.

At one point, X also prohibited users from promoting their social media presence on competitor sites like Mastodon and Instagram. At that time, Musk announced that the platform would no longer permit “relentless free advertising of competitors.”

These actions are contradictory to Musk describing himself as a free speech absolutist and X as a platform that supports free speech. Musk was recently criticized by the hate speech watchdog Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) for allowing hate speech to skyrocket on X. The non-profit accused Musk of failing to take appropriate actions to stop toxic content on the social platform. The tech mogul responded with a lawsuit against CCDH.

Slow loading times are detrimental for sites and can hurt the bottom lines of the targeted sites. Even if X isn’t a massive traffic driver for these of the sites, the issues have most likely caused frustration among users and yielded at least some negative effects on the affected parties.

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