Over the weekend, Twitter users became quickly confused over a new “temporary measure” that limits the number of tweets they can view in a day.
Elon Musk said the measure was introduced to “address the extreme levels of data scraping on the site”. The initial limits started over the weekend and were quickly increased further.
Users reported seeing a message saying “rate limit exceeded” and being unable to read any tweets. Elon Musk then announced a change to the platform that would mean an initial 600-tweet limit for unverified Twitter users, with higher limits for verified accounts.
Later on, he said the limit would be increased to 1,000 tweets per user, and there haven’t been any more updates on whether this limit will remain in place or stay the same.
After taking over Twitter in October 2022, Elon Musk has focused on reducing costs, which has included staff losses and a new subscription service that offers a “verified” badge for a monthly fee.
He also said he was unhappy about AI firms using Twitter data to train their large language models. In a tweet on Saturday, he tweeted saying that the new measures had been introduced to deal with “EXTREME levels of data scraping”.
“Almost every company doing AI, from start-ups to some of the biggest corporations on Earth, was scraping vast amounts of data,” Mr Musk added in his tweet.
“It is rather galling to have to bring large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis just to facilitate some AI startup’s outrageous valuation.”
Data scraping has become a common concern in the last few years. The process involves gathering large amounts of content from web platforms and making it accessible in other formats, like spreadsheets. The data is then used to train artificial intelligence. Some platforms, like Reddit, have now made companies pay to access their data.