Musk more or less explained his decision in a reply this week by claiming that Substack “tried to download a huge chunk of the Twitter database to boot their Twitter clone,” which is very funny – imagine if you some kind of Twitter competitor would start and prepopulate with the mess of Twitter — and also a pretty big claim to make without any proof.
Anyway, Chris Best, CEO of Substack, naturally responded to Elon with a post on Substack Notes. The feature is in beta so there’s no permalink yet, but he’s passed it on to us and we’ll post a screenshot for people to refer to.
Best says Substack has been using the Twitter API for years and believes they’re in compliance with the terms of service; the implication is that Twitter never told the company about any alleged violation. And of course, Best says the whole situation is “very frustrating,” with a nod to the fact that Substack writers actually customers of its business software product; tampering with Substack links impacts individual small business owners more than the platform company.
It’s worth noting that Andreesen Horowitz is an investor in both Substack and neo-Twitter, so that’s going well. And if you’re reading this, you can probably just respond to the phrases “freedom of speech,” “Twitter,” and “Elon Musk” in any way you want to get your Saturday night off to a good start. I trust you. Party hard.