According to users on X, formerly known as Twitter, X has now introduced a delay on links redirecting to certain websites and competitors to Twitter.
This reportedly applies to links leading to news services like the New York Times and Reuters, as well as Twitter competitors like Bluesky, Facebook, and Threads. According to X’s users, there is a delay of approximately five seconds before users are redirected to the relevant services via links on X. Anything linked from X is routed through the t.co service, a link-shortening service owned by X itself. It’s on t.co that the intentional delay on certain sites and services appears to have been implemented.
X, or the owner of the service, Elon Musk, has not yet commented on the deliberate link redirection delay. Previously, when X was still known as Twitter, the service blocked link redirections to services deemed to compete with Twitter. Apart from being frustrating for X’s users due to the link redirection delay, it could also affect the affected services’ visibility on Google, as the search engine ranks down slow-loading sites.
The link redirection delay seems to be another example of Elon Musk’s so-called fight for freedom of expression, which appears to apply only when it concerns his own freedom of expression and to those who do not criticize him or compete with his companies.