X rallenta l’accesso a Facebook e ad alcuni siti sgraditi a Musk thumbnail

X slows down access to Facebook and some sites Musk dislikes

In the controversy (which perhaps will become a physical confrontation) between Elon Musk e Mark Zuckerberg for the birth of Threads, there was no shortage of mutual accusations and twists. Musk, for example, through his lawyers accused the new Meta app of plagiarizing against Twitter and threatened legal action.

Yet, from what has emerged in the last few hours, not even the behavior of X (the former Twitter) seems crystal clear. In fact, it seems that X slows down access to a series of platforms and sites that Elon Musk does not like. And, as it happens, one of the main victims of this curious sabotage is Facebook, the historic Meta platform.

What is happening, e how it was discovered this little noble move by X?

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X slows down sites that Musk doesn’t like

The first to have instilled a doubt was a user of the Hacker News forum. On Tuesday, August 15, while we were roasting steaks and sipping beer, he discovered something strange. Social X slows down access to some sites, and it does so in both the web version and the mobile app.

The Washington Post then picked up on the news on Wednesday, August 16, and dressed it up, so to speak more official and technical. Explaining, for example, that the slowdown concerns the “t.co” domain, a link shortening service used by X. The traffic routed through that domain allows X to slow down the passage to some destination sites. The goal is all too clear: first of all, to steal traffic and, consequently, advertising revenue from the targeted sites.

Then there is another element: Google tends to rank sites that open in less than 2.5 seconds higher in searches.

More than five seconds of waiting

X slows down access to some sites and platforms, but which ones? And what are the waiting times? It has been calculated that blocked sites take 5 to 10 seconds to load, versus average times of less than a second.

It seems that it all started on Friday 4 August against the New York Times. It is the same day that Musk suggested not subscribing, or canceling the subscription, to the newspaper. The dispute between Musk and the NYT escalated when the newspaper refused to pay for the blue Twitter check that certifies the profiles were official.

In the viewfinder, needless to say, there are also the social networks of the opponent Mark Zuckerberg. The historians Facebook and Instagram, certainly, but also Threads, the reason for the dispute. X also slows down access to other news sites, such as Reutersand to Bluesky, a social network launched by former Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

The reactions

A Google study reveals that 53% of mobile surfers give up visiting a site if the loading process takes longer than 3 seconds. X’s initiative to slow down some logins it would therefore bear the desired fruit. After the article published by the Washington Post, however, it seems that the company has removed some limitations.

Meanwhile said Charlie Stadtlander, spokesman for the New York Times. Stadtlander said: “While we don’t know the rationale behind applying this delay, we would be concerned about the targeted pressure applied to any news organization for unclear reasons.”

Musk and a very personal concept of freedom

Elon Musk’s latest move surprising up to a certain point. There are many articles in which we have expressed ourselves on the completely personal concept of freedom, which Musk has applied on several occasions. A freedom that for the owner of X, in a nutshell, seems to correspond to individualistic freedom to… Do what he wants without anyone or anything hindering him.

A recent example of this is the fact that X’s lawyers have sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a non-profit organization that monitors hate speech and misinformation on major social platforms. The reason? The organization allegedly took the liberty of reporting Twitter’s failure to remove – in the month of June – content from verified users in open violation of the social network’s rules. A move that, according to X, would alienate advertisers.

Threads in calo

To conclude, we point out that the competitor app of X, or Threads, after the initial boom is suffering a strong slowdown. The average time spent by US users has decreased by as much as 85% since the days of the launch, going from 21 minutes on July 7 to 3 minutes on August 7.

E active users, down from 2.3 million to 576,000, plummeted: a 97% decrease.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.