Some users have been complaining that they cannot share their Twitter handles on Facebook. With the ongoing debate around Free Basics and net neutrality, most quickly jumped to the conclusion that it is the kind censorship we will see if Facebook has its way. But here’s the real reason why Facebook won’t let you post your Twitter handle as a status message. Also Read - Explained: Can Twitter get banned in India?
To put into context what people are complaining on social media, head over to Facebook and in the status message tab type this, “Please follow me on Twitter @yourtwitterhandle.” Replace the word ‘yourtwitterhandle’ with your Twitter handle name, (in my case @some_bit). When you hit post, Facebook will throw up an error message – ‘Our security systems have detected that a lot of people are posting the same content, which could mean that it’s spam. Please try a different post’. Also Read - Twitter vs government: Twitter India loses legal protection for not complying with IT rules on time
In essence if you copy-paste the aforementioned text verbatim, Facebook’s systems would think that it is spam since many users are posting the same stuff. In other words, it has nothing to do with Free Basics, censorship or any kind of anti-competitive behavior on Facebook’s part. In fact, if you post your Twitter handle in a slightly different way, Facebook lets you publish it without any issues. For example, you can easily post something like – ‘Follow me on Twitter (@some_bit)’. Also Read - Twitter friends/followers seeking your unwanted attention could be Unmentioned
Following are some of the tweets by users trying to publish their Twitter handles on Facebook. But having failed, jumped to conclusion that the social media giant had ulterior motives behind doing so.
So Facebook won’t allow you to promote your Twitter handle. Try the text as in pic the future of Free Basic?: pic.twitter.com/PcXweXSFwB
— Venkat Parthasarathy (@Venkrek) December 31, 2015
OMG! Facebook doesn’t allow you to post your Twitter handle. (see last 2 RTs)
— Арман (@ArmanChandok) December 31, 2015
Free basic censorship. pic.twitter.com/yq2KUuHWF5
— U.T.S.A.V (@Shockraborty) December 31, 2015
Facebook is facing a lot of flak in India due to its Free Basics initiative. Activists as well as entrepreneurs have slammed the initiative for being against the principle of net neutrality. Facebook though seems unfazed and has been aggressively promoting Free Basics via newspaper and TV ads as well as billboards.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg too has been quite vocal and has vehemently defended Free Basics. In a recent op-ed he not only compared Free Basics with libraries and hospitals, but also urged users not to blindly follow these net neutrality activists.