Elon Musk just screwed us
Twitter has started throttling Substack publications like the Spy
Morning — just a mini round-up for you today, as the Spy puts their feet up over Easter.
Forgive us, but we need to get a bit meta beforehand: we and many other publications are getting screwed by Twitter’s new war on Substack. Over the past week, Twitter has made it harder to share and access Substack posts on its platform. Retweets and likes are now disabled on any tweets with a Substack link, and a bizarre message warning the link may be unsafe pops up when someone clicks through. It’s not entirely clear what prompted the changes, but the most prominent theory is owner Elon Musk is retaliating to Substack’s announcement that it’s launching its own Twitter-like platform, Notes.
This is a massive shame. Many of you reading this right now found the Spy via Twitter. And while local news across the UK is generally in a depressing state, the new wave of Substack-based publications offers a glimmer of hope for quality journalism at a regional and local level. There’s The Mill in Manchester, The Tribune in Sheffield and The Post in Liverpool — all big inspirations for the Spy that, like us, publish on Substack. Twitter’s shadowban just makes it harder for us to get discovered and risks snuffing out this emerging local news ecosystem.
Hopefully, Musk reverses course, or we can figure out an alternative solution. Consider sharing us in the meantime using the button below. Anyway — onto your round-up!
What we’ve spied
🎭 City Hall is looking at ways to stop Riverside Studios from closing. The Hammersmith arts centre recently announced it was entering administration due to surging energy bills and debt from its redevelopment, but mayor Sadiq Khan says he’s exploring ways to save it.
💰 The latest attempt to sell Britain’s most expensive house in Knightsbridge is raising big questions about London’s super-rich. The Guardian has dived into the history of 2-8A Rutland Gate, which has been empty for years but recently put back on the market for an astronomical £200m.
👮 A busy week for Met chief Sir Mark Rowley in his efforts to clean up the force in the wake of the Casey Review. Thursday began with Rowley issuing an update on his purge of rogue cops: in the past six months, he’s identified 161 officers with criminal convictions, doubled gross misconduct cases to 150 and dismissed 51 officers. Rowley then announced that he plans to block almost everyone with a criminal caution or conviction from joining the Met and called for more power to sack officers. Related: the Sunday Times has published a big investigation into former Met officer and serial rapist David Carrick. They’ve spoken to his mother, friends, colleagues and victims, and have revealed more women have come forward.
🔴 Labour now have their biggest polling lead over the Conservatives in London since at least 2010. YouGov’s latest survey found 58% of Londoners intend to vote for Labour at the next general election and just 18% for the Tories. That’s compared to 35% intending to vote Labour just before the 2010 election and 39% for the Tories. The Lib Dems are currently polling at 9% in the capital and the Greens are on 7%.
⚡ David Bowie’s iconic Aladdin Sane album cover is the subject of a new exhibition at the Southbank Center. It’s being curated by Bowie’s son to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1973 album. The exhibition is on until May 28.
🥽 Waterloo station now has a virtual reality experience designed to help people recognise and combat sexual harassment on London’s trains and buses. After you put on the headset, you’re presented with three different scenarios of a person being sexually harassed and advised how to help as a bystander.
🐌 Famous Soho restaurant L’Escargot will reopen on May 10 after a sudden closure in February. The French restaurant has existed in its current iteration since 1927 and found particular acclaim under head chef Marco Pierre White.
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