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Programming Note: Musk Makes Dakota Free Press Harder to Get via Twitter

Last week my WordPress blog dashboard started throwing an error message at me saying I needed to refresh my connection with Twitter:

DFP WordPress dashboard, screencap 2023.05.22.
DFP WordPress dashboard, screencap 2023.05.22.

But when I hit the Refresh buttons, WordPress said it couldn’t connect to Twitter:

Wordpress error connecting to Twitter, 2023.05.22.
WordPress error connecting to Twitter, 2023.05.22.

Alas, Elon Musk has struck again. Where Twitter used to allow companies like WordPress to automatically post content to Twitter for free, Musk ended that free access on April 29 and is now charging companies $42K to $210K a month for the privilege of swiftly and easily filling Musk’s platform with fresh and engaging content. WordPress said No deal, and Twitter finally got around to pulling WordPress’s plug on May 18.

Those of you readers who come straight to every day via your browser bookmarks or the daily e-mail digest won’t experience any ill effects from Twitter’s self-destructive pricing and WordPress’s sensible decision to take its business elsewhere. But the 4,754 Twitter followers (surely some of them bots, but many of them real human beings) who get alerts of new Dakota Free Press posts from @dfpblog will experience some delays as I’ll need to manually post new headlines to that feed.

I have used WordPress’s Twitter plugin to post links to my DFP articles automatically to both my @dfpblog and @coralhei Twitter accounts. To replicate that work manually, I need keep two browsers open, log in as @coralhei in my Safari browser, log in as @dfpblog in Firefox, then copy and paste the URL of each blog post into each window. Such work may seem trivial, but it’s one more step in my posting routine. I’ll probably keep at it, but some percentage of the numerous WordPress/Twitter users won’t tolerate that extra hassle and will send their posts to other platforms that recognize the value of open sharing policies. Twitter will thus have fewer publishers, fewer readers, and fewer arguments to make in its sales pitches to advertisers that they ought to spend their money on the platform Elon Musk is mismanaging into oblivion.


  1. Mark Anderson 2023-05-22

    You could volunteer for the Mars mission Cory. Maybe Musk would give you a break. You’d have alot of time on the trip, even more once you got there.

  2. P. Aitch 2023-05-22

    My dear Cory and readers of this valuable liberal political blog, I implore you to reconsider your steadfast commitment to posting on the social media platform, Twitter.
    As of late, the platform’s owner, the eccentric Elon Musk, has tightened his grip on the flow of information, stifling the voices of all who do not align with his oligarchic agenda.
    Musk, a man of immense wealth and power, has no qualms trampling upon the rights of the everyday man and woman, who seek only to express their beliefs and engage in meaningful discourse.
    It is with insight, prudence, and caution that I choose to advise you to seek other avenues for sharing your valuable insights, before the oppressive hand of Musk descends upon you.

  3. Mark Anderson 2023-05-22

    P. Aitch, I’m not a tweeter. My wife is. It has become an ugly place and Elon reveals more and more moral and intellectual QAnoness. It’s sad. He did pay for Steven Kings checkmark but that Starship will never get launched.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-05-22

    Mark Anderson – not a Twitter user anymore. Left the day Musk took over. As with social media in general it’s highly addictive. Users only discover their level of compulsion and dependency by going “cold muskrat” and stopping completely.
    I’m in Florida for a while helping my kids move into their new home in Lutz, FL. Really nice custom home neighborhood and fully half the price the same dwelling would cost in Colorado. They rented in Holiday for a year while they looked around at towns and neighborhoods.
    We were going to take the boat out this morning but don’t care to get caught in the rain this afternoon. Oh, well. Plenty to do.
    People in Colorado have a negative opinion of Florida weather because of the humidity. I’ve found the moist air comforting like a warm blanket and my arthritis is much less noticeable. If Tampa/Clearwater had mass transit I could make a go of it here.

  5. larry kurtz 2023-05-22

    Twitter is bigger than Elon Musk and there is an active effort to relieve the platform from his clutches.

  6. ABC 2023-05-22

    Musk is a MAMA, make America Musk Always. Probably with cheap looking hat.

    Facebook and Musk eh destroy the planet with Republicans, then go to Mars under same rightist nuts?

    The internet will evolve better playforms.

  7. Eve Fisher 2023-05-22

    Musk is proof that you should never trust trust-fund babies who were raised white, wealthy, and privileged in apartheid South Africa.

  8. Mark Mowry 2023-05-22

    I feel ya, Cory. I didn’t make much headway on Twitter either. It appears that you actually have to be somebody to get any traction on Twitter. But don’t give up. There are many alternatives out there for those who want to get noticed on social media even if they have low numbers of subscribers.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-05-22

    Mark, you misread me. I made pretty good headway on Twitter prior to Musk’s acquisition and sabotage. My complaint is that Musk has made it harder for people to post content, thus reducing the attention that his own platform can get with up-to-the-second new material.

  10. Mark Mowry 2023-05-22

    I hear ya Cory; it’s all about the filters. If we can just get through the filters, then we will be read and understood; that is if I’m reading you right. We’re all in this together so hang tough.

  11. Phil Schreck 2023-05-23

    Cory, this hit close to home for me. I had been using Twitter to automatically send out severe weather warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service. Unfortunately, I can’t do that any more because the service I use had been sending out 1000s per day during big severe weather events across the country. The company (WeatherUSA) made the decision to not pay the huge fee so they have stopped the tweeting option. I can send them out manually but that takes time, especially if I’m busy with severe weather coverage. I believe this decision by Twitter is endangering lives, especially for those who rely on social media for their severe weather alerts.

  12. e platypus onion 2023-05-23

    In magat land, profits are more important than lives. Twitter is no different.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-05-23

    Phil points out a really important problem: Twitter is now making itself less valuable as a source of public safety information by pricing weather reporters out of its system. Perhaps if we categorized Twitter as a broadcaster, like we do television, we could require Twitter to provide public services like weather alerts.

  14. larry kurtz 2023-05-23

    The National Weather Service has voiced similar concerns at all their Montana reporting stations.

    Elon Musk has been fingered in some sexual misconduct with underage girls so Twitter could be liberated in months.

  15. grudznick 2023-05-23

    Mr. Musk broke grudznick’s entire website blogging place. I have had to resort to emailing things to Mr. Dale to put on the internets. It is very demeaning and I will probably never buy a Tesla car as a result. And Mr. Dale, get that stuff posted out there.

  16. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-05-24

    But, lo, rejoice! and worship the One True Twitter! This evening one deeply disturbed narcissist will announce his presidential bid on another deeply disturbed narcissist’s social media cluster. Life cannot get any better.

  17. All Mammal 2023-05-24

    The weather alerters are excellent models to follow in their tactics to convince Ford to resume putting FM radios in all vehicles coming off Ford and Lincoln assembly lines. The foremost strategy is collaboration with others working for the same goal. By joining forces with AM radio, which also comes with the conservative talk radio pundits, the weather warning issuers’ request became an unstoppable lobby that resulted in a bipartisan new act passed by congress to now mandate the AM radio feature in all new vehicles, at no extra charge. They got er done collabo style and participated in helping countless Americans stay tuned in during emergencies and disasters.

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