Twitter is limiting how many tweets various accounts can read per day, owner Elon Musk has said, in a bid to discourage “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation.
The restrictions, announced on Friday, began to have ripple effects early on Saturday, causing more than 7,500 people at one point to report problems using the social media service, according to Downdetector, a website that tracks online outages.
The site is now requiring people to log on to view tweets and pro-files — a change in its longtime practice to allow everyone to peruse the chatter on what Musk has frequently touted as the world’s digital town square since buying it for $44 billion last year.
Musk in a Friday tweet, described the new restrictions as a temporary measure that was taken because “we were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!”
Musk has pushed back on what he calls misuse of Twitter data to train popular artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT.
They scour reams of information online to generate human-like text, photos, video and other content.
Musk initially said verified accounts will be limited to reading 6,000 posts a day, while unverified accounts will be limited to 600 posts a day.
New unverified accounts are limited to 300 posts a day, he said.
After facing backlash, he tweeted that the thresholds would be raised to 800 posts for unverified accounts and 8,000 for verified accounts before later settling on 1,000 and 10,000 tweets,respectively.