Elon Musk sets new daily reading limits for Twitter posts

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 is unclear how long the limits will last, and what their lifting will depend on. Musk did not respond to a request for comment.

Verified accounts will be limited to reading 6,000 posts per day, while unverified accounts will have access to 600 per day, Musk tweeted. New unverified users, who join the platform after Saturday’s announcement, can only access 300 posts per day.

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 this change as a temporary measure to deter third parties from lifting data from the platform. In a tweet, Musk expressed dismay at what he characterized as the “extreme level 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 large amounts of data, mostly scraped from the internet.

About an hour after Musk announced the limits, he said tweeted again that the prices will “soon” increase to 8000 for verified accounts, 800 for unverified accounts and 400 for new unverified accounts.

Musk’s post did not detail how the change will affect Twitter features such as the audio chat platform Spaces. However, following Musk’s post, many users began sharing screenshots of their Twitter home pages with the message “rate limit exceeded,” limiting their ability to see tweet replies or posts on their home feed.

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

The restrictions represent the latest drastic change by Musk, who led the social media company after buying it in October for $44 billion. Since taking over, Musk restored many banned accounts, including that of former President Donald Trump, and has removed verification badges from public figures and instead offered the blue checks 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 period, Musk in May named 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 some users to jump to similar social media sites like 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 similar resemblance to its predecessor. The company said in a post on its platform on Saturday afternoon that it experienced record traffic following Musk’s announcement. The app, described as a decentralized social network, is currently invite-only and halted its registrations in response to a spike in activity on Saturday.

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