Elon Musk sets new daily Twitter post reading limits

Elon Musk announced Saturday that Twitter will temporarily limit the number of tweets users can read per day — with separate limits for paid and unpaid users — to combat computer programs that comb through posts to extract useful data from the platform.

It’s unclear how long the limits will last, and what lifting them will depend on. Musk did not respond to a request for comment.

Verified accounts will be limited to reading 10,000 posts per day while unverified accounts will have access to 1,000 per day, Musk tweeted. New unverified users who join the platform after Saturday’s announcement can access only 500 posts per day. The change came after significant backlash to initial tweet limits set by the company Saturday afternoon, allowing 6,000 tweets for verified users, 600 tweets for unverified and 300 for new profiles.

The news follows the announcement by the Tesla and SpaceX CEO on Friday that tweets could not be viewed without being logged into an account. He described that change as a temporary measure to deter third parties from lifting data off the platform. In a tweet, Musk expressed dismay at what he characterized as “extreme levels of data scaping” by artificial intelligence companies. He again cited data scraping on Saturday as a reason for imposing the limit. Chatbots like ChatGPT rely on troves of data, mostly scraped from the internet.

Musk’s post did not describe how the change will affect Twitter features like the audio conversation platform Spaces. However, following Musk’s post, many users began sharing screenshots of their Twitter homepages with the message “rate limit exceeded,” curbing their ability to view tweet replies or posts on their home feed.

The website Downdetector indicated that user reports of Twitter malfunctions spiked at 8 a.m. Eastern on Saturday and continued throughout the day.

The restrictions represent the latest drastic change by Musk, who headed up the social media company after purchasing it in October for $44 billion. After taking over, Musk restored many banned accounts, including that of former president Donald Trump, and stripped verification marks from public figures and instead offered the blue check marks to anyone willing to pay $8 a month.

A year ago, Musk asked, ‘Is Twitter dying?’ He may have his answer.

Advertisers have fled in droves, raising questions about how the company will make money. Amid what observers have characterized as a chaotic tenure, Musk in May appointed Linda Yaccarino, formerly NBCUniversal’s chairman of global advertising and partnerships, as Twitter’s CEO.

Twitter’s changing user experience and frequent glitches have led to some users jumping to similar social media sites such as Mastodon and Bluesky. Meta has also reportedly proposed introducing its own Twitter clone.

Bluesky, a platform backed by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, bears a resemblance to Twitter. Bluesky said in a post on the platform Saturday afternoon that it was experiencing record high traffic after Musk’s announcement. The app, described as a decentralized social network, is currently invite-only and paused its sign-ups to respond to the spike in activity Saturday.

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