X is slowing down links to websites Elon Musk has publicly feuded with

It appears that Elon Musk is, once again, punishing websites run by his perceived enemies. The website formerly known as Twitter seems to be interfering with links to The New York Times, Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads and Substack to make them load noticeably slower.

Clicking links to those websites from within X causes a significant delay in loading the web pages compared with navigating to the links from another browser or website. The delay, which seems to be about 5 seconds, was noticed by users on the Hacker News and later The Washington Post.

It appears to be widespread and only affecting a handful of high-profile websites that Musk has publicly attacked in the past. The user who first reported the issues on Hacker News estimated the inexplicable delay first cropped up on August 4th, noting that it’s “so consistent it’s obviously deliberate.”

For now, it’s unclear if there is a cause for the delay other than Musk’s personal grievances with these companies. But the lag only seems to be affecting websites that Musk has previously retaliated against. He previously blocked links to , , and other competitors. Musk has also The Times, revoking the publication’s verified status shortly before the rollout of Twitter Blue (now called X Premium). The owner of X is also currently with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg over his launch of , Threads.

As usual, X didn’t respond to a request for comment. The company has largely stopped replying to press inquiries since Elon Musk fired its communications staff shortly after taking over the company.

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