I have a strong interest in the open web. One of the fundamental tenets of our web is the simple and ubiquitous link.
Links literally form the connective tissue of the web, it helps us make connections between apparently disparate pieces of work by intersecting on a single seemingly benign word. These conjunctions help form a unique communities of loosely associated thoughts and ideas, that I find immersive and thought provoking. Even as I write this post I am thinking about Anil Dash’s piece on “Link in the Bio” is a slow knife, and it remains an important context for the critical part that links play in supporting and growing a free and open web.
While I have expressed some frustration with Twitter recently, I think it peaked when I read this announcement recently (emphasis mine):
We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms. However, we will no longer allow free promotion of certain social media platforms on Twitter. Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.
This feels like a walled garden in reverse. Under “normal” circumstances you are stopping people on the outside looking at your digital garden unless they pay. In reverse you stop people in the garden from interacting with anything beyond the wall. Sounds like a prison to me.