Twitter imposes limits on post readability to discourage data scraping, says Elon Musk

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In a move aimed at discouraging “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation, Twitter has implemented limitations on how many tweets per day various accounts can read, according to Executive Chair Elon Musk.

In a post on the social media platform, Musk disclosed that verified accounts were initially limited to reading 6,000 posts a day. Unverified accounts, he said, would be confined to reading 600 posts daily, with new unverified accounts being limited to a mere 300.

 

Later, however, the temporary reading limitation was increased. Verified users saw an augmentation to 10,000 posts per day, while unverified and new unverified users saw their limits bumped up to 1,000 and 500 posts per day respectively. Musk revealed these changes in a separate post, yet did not offer additional information regarding the amendments.

These limitations follow on from Twitter’s previous announcement that users would be required to have an account on the social media platform in order to view tweets. Musk had labelled this a “temporary emergency measure.”

Musk’s stringent measures are reportedly in response to an influx of organisations “extremely aggressively” scraping Twitter data, which was adversely impacting the user experience. The entrepreneur has been vocal in his disapproval of artificial intelligence firms, such as OpenAI – the owner of ChatGPT, utilising Twitter’s data to train their large language models.

Twitter experienced an outage on Saturday morning, with Downdetector.com, the outage tracking website, reporting that the platform was down for thousands of users. At the peak of the outage at around 11:17 AM ET, almost 7,500 users across the platform reported issues accessing the app.

In an effort to regain the trust of advertisers who left Twitter under Musk’s ownership, and to boost subscription revenue, the social media platform has taken several steps. Among them is the integration of verification check marks into the Twitter Blue program.

Twitter’s recent policy changes and technical difficulties arrive amidst a period of transition for the social media giant, with the firm striving to strike a balance between user experience, business needs, and ethical data use practices.

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