X, Elon Musk’s new name for the social network formerly known as Twitter, appears to be adding an approximately five-second delay to links that are redirected to certain sites, including the New York Times, Reuters and Meta’s family of apps including Facebook, Instagram and Threads.
In addition, links posted on X to Bluesky, a decentralized social network backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and Substack are subject to the delay. As noted by the Washington Post, the companies and services whose links are being delayed by X “have previously been singled out by Musk for ridicule or attack.”
X’s apparent throttling of links to certain domains was first flagged by a user on Y Combinator’s Hacker News discussion forum, who claimed to have first noticed the delay to the New York Times on Aug. 4. The delays apply to links that use X’s t.co link-shortening service. A message on that site says, “Twitter uses the t.co domain as part of a service to protect users from harmful activity, to provide value for the developer ecosystem, and as a quality signal for surfacing relevant, interesting Tweets.”
An inquiry to X’s press email address produced an autoreply that said, “We’ll get back to you soon.” Musk and Linda Yaccarino, X’s CEO, have not addressed the issue.
Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has said that he will continue to oversee X’s product and technology teams, while Yaccarino is in charge of advertising and business operations.
Musk acquired Twitter in a debt-laden $44 billion deal last October. In December, he banned several journalists from Twitter after claiming they had “doxxed” him by posting links to an account that tracked his private jet, before reinstating several of them the following day.
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