When Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 Billion last year he promised to fix all the problems he perceived stifled free speech.
But it seems he isn’t beyond doing a little stifling of his own for sites and organizations he isn’t a fan of.
The Washington Post reported in August that X was adding up to five seconds to the load time of sites that Musk had criticized or were in some way critical of him.
The newspaper noticed delays for many of X’s competitors such as Meta products Facebook and Instagram, and news outlets like the New York Times.
What was initially seen as a fluke became a targeted pattern when the paper dug a little deeper.
This led The Markup to create a page where users could compare load times for a variety of sites.
The page clearly shows a pattern for sites like Bluesky, Substack, and the new Meta site Threads taking up to 60 times longer to load than other sites.
In a 2017 study, Google found that the probability of a user ‘bouncing’ increased by 32% if the wait time increased from 1 to 3 seconds.
So there aren’t really a lot of alternative answers other than Musk making it a little harder to get sites he doesn’t like.
Musk and X haven’t responded to the accusations.
The silence on this topic when combined with the ongoing schoolyard feud where Musk challenged Zuckerberg to a cage fight isn’t really a good look for X.
Perhaps he thinks it makes him look strong.
But to many it just makes him look petulant.