Circle, Substack and X Corp: What’s going on with Twitter?

11 Apr 2023

Image: © MMollaretti/

Twitter Circle is having privacy issues, the platform appeared to recently limit Substack content and court filings suggest Twitter Inc no longer exists.

It’s been another busy period for Twitter, as the company’s owner makes some erratic decisions while court filings suggest the company has been merged into a different organisation.

Recent filings shared by Slate claim that Twitter Inc no longer exists because it has been merged into X Corp, another company owned by Elon Musk.

It is unclear what the purpose of this merger is, but Musk has previously said he intends to use Twitter as a means to create X – an “everything app” in the style of China’s WeChat. Musk also hinted at this plan in a meeting with Twitter’s employees last year.

But while Musk appears to be moving to transform the platform, other users suggest some problems are appearing on Twitter.

Circle tweets go public

In recent days, users are reporting that their Circle tweets – which are only meant to be visible to selected users – are ending up on the timelines of other users.

Examples are being shared of users posting a private Circle tweet, only for those tweets to be liked by accounts they don’t follow.

One former Twitch engineer testing this issue shared screenshots of multiple accounts liking a private tweet he posted, despite those accounts not being in his Circle.

Twitter vs Substack

The platform also had some issues with Substack links in recent days, with reports that tweets containing these links were having their reach limited.

The issue came the same week that Substack announced Notes, a short-form feature that bears clear similarities to Twitter’s news feed.

After this announcement, users on Twitter claimed that any post that contained a Substack link couldn’t be retweeted or commented on.

Since then, Tweets that contain Substack links appear to be working normally again. Substack’s Twitter account said on 9 April that the “suppression” was over and called the decision the “right move for writers”.

“We believe that Twitter and Substack can continue to coexist and complement each other,” Substack said. “We look forward to making Substack Notes available soon, but we expect it to be a new kind of place within a subscription network, not a replacement for existing social networks.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic