Twitter has limited the number of tweets users can see per day, Elon Musk announced in a tweet on Saturday, 1 July.
Musk said that verified users can see 10,000 tweets per day, unverified users 1,000 tweets per day, and new unverified users 500 tweets per day.
He explained that the daily limits are temporary and that the company aimed to address “extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation” by imposing a rate limit on tweets.
His tweet initially said that the limits for verified, unverified, and new unverified accounts were set at 6,000, 600, and 300 per day, respectively.
The figures were later updated.
The announcement came after a large-scale Twitter outage on Saturday with thousands of users complaining that they were shown error messages like “Rate limit exceeded” or “Cannot retrieve tweets” when they tried to access or post content on Twitter’s website or mobile app.
The microblogging platform experienced a similar outage in February and March too, with users unable to post content, click on links, or load images.
What Is Data Scraping?
Data scraping simply refers to the pulling of information from the internet. However, BBC reported that Musk, in Twitter’s context, was probably referring to the scraping of large amounts of data used by artificial intelligence companies that power chatbots like ChatGPT.
Large language models need platforms like Twitter and Reddit to learn from masses of real human conversations. The billions of posts on Twitter and Reddit are understood to be important data for training AI language models, as per BBC.
However, these platforms want AI companies to pay them for data scraping. For instance, Reddit, in June, began charging more money from third-party developers for using its data.
Musks new restrictions, however, haven’t gone down well with users.
Many took to the platform with memes and concerns about the new rate limit, as hashtags #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter trended yet again.
He also said that using “censorship-resistant open protocols like bitcoin and nostr” could help “preserve the open internet.” The Quint