X, previously known as Twitter, implemented reduced access speed for Threads, The New York Times, Bl
X, previously known as Twitter, was observed deliberately slowing down access to specific websites that have been publicly criticized by the social network's owner, Elon Musk.
The platform introduced delays in loading web pages from a selection of sites, including The New York Times, Instagram, Facebook, Bluesky, Threads, Reuters, and Substack. This change in access speed raised concerns about potentially diverting traffic and ad revenue from these targeted websites. However, it seems that the platform has started reversing this slowed access to news sites as of Tuesday afternoon.
Users on the Hacker News forum first noticed the delays, reporting a five-second delay when clicking on links to the mentioned websites on X. The move to introduce delays was consistent with Musk's previous public criticisms of these websites. Notably, other major news organizations and websites, such as YouTube and Fox News, remained unaffected by the slowdown.
The former head of trust and safety at Twitter commented on Bluesky, noting that the delays could negatively impact user experience and lead to increased bounce rates, decreasing the time users spend on the linked site. Even a one-second delay can cause users to lose interest and navigate away.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reacted to a Threads post discussing the throttling issue with a "thinking face emoji." This gesture is significant considering the ongoing feud between Musk and Zuckerberg, including Musk's threat of a potential cage fight.
This instance is not the first time Musk has influenced X's behavior based on personal grievances. He previously blocked links to competitors such as Substack and Threads, and earlier this year, Musk criticized and removed the verification check mark of The New York Times.
As X did not respond to comments, this lack of communication is consistent with the social media's approach since Musk assumed control of the company.