X, formerly known as Twitter, reportedly attempted to limit traffic to certain rival apps and news sites by slowing down the speed of accessing links.

The delayed websites included X’s rivals Facebook, Instagram Substack and Bluesky along with The New York Times and the Reuters wire service which have “drawn the ire of owner Elon Musk”, as the Washington Post reported. Musk has publicly singled out each of these websites for scorn and ridicule in the past.

It apparently took 5-seconds longer to load the web pages of the sites as users clicked on the links on X, as per a test run by Reuters and The Washington Post on Tuesday. This unexpected delay was also noticed by several X users.

 

These changes were also noticed by Yoel Roth Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, who posted on Bluesky on Tuesday that he was able to replicate the issue by his own test. “Delays are annoying enough, even subconsciously, to drive people away,” he said.

Reports did not mention the precise time when these sudden delays began, but by Tuesday evening, the social media platform confirmed that the delay time was back to zero and that the slowed access had been revoked.

Musk’s actions prompted Washington Post to assert that he has been using “X’s technical tools to pursue personal grudges”. This is on par with Musk’s former reported actions, where he suspended the accounts of several journalists who reported on the social media platform after his takeover. These names included New York Times’s Ryan Mac and Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, among several others.