Twitter slowing traffic to websites Elon Musk hates

The New York Times is among websites disliked by Twitter proprietor Elon Musk, and if you link to it on his website, people clicking the link won't be redirected for 5 seconds. Also in the slow-redirect list is Facebook, whose own proprietor, Mark Zuckerberg, recently humiliated Musk by taking the South African billionaire's jocular fistfight challenge gruellingly in earnest.

The delayed websites included X's online rivals Facebook, Instagram, Bluesky and Substack, as well as the Reuters wire service and the Times. All of them have previously been singled out by Musk for ridicule or attack.

On Tuesday afternoon, hours after this story was first published, X began reversing the throttling on some of the sites, dropping the delay times back to zero. It was unknown if all the throttled websites had normal service restored.

The delay affectedthe domain, a link-shortening service that X uses to process every link posted to the website. Traffic is routed through the domain, allowing X to track — and, in this case, throttle — activity to the target website, potentially taking away traffic and ad revenue from businesses Musk personally dislikes.

It's funny how Musk has this "Schrodinger's troll" dynamic where he does foolish or impulsive things, then reverses it when he's seen while posing his intent around the reaction. A furtive oddball who needs attention.