Confusion at Twitter continues over Elon Musk’s tweet limits
Confusion at Twitter appears to be continuing after owner Elon Musk introduced limits to the amount of posts users can read in a day.
The billionaire announced the “temporary measure” in response to excessive data scraping.
At the weekend, Mr Musk quickly increased the initial limits.
It appears that many users did not see limits on Sunday, but some reported seeing the “rate limit exceeded” notification on Monday.
Previously, Mr Musk – who took over Twitter in October 2022 – expressed his displeasure at the use of Twitter data by artificial intelligence (AI) firms.
On Saturday evening, Mr Musk announced that the platform would impose a 1,000-tweet limit for unverified Twitter users who don’t subscribe to the platform.
Whether the limits will remain in place has not been confirmed by him.
An AI issue?
Mr Musk said Twitter had imposed the measures as a result of “EXTREME levels of data scraping” following a user complaint on Saturday morning.
Data is extracted from web platforms, often at great scale, to make it accessible and readable in local formats, such as spreadsheets, in order to gather content and information.
“Almost every AI company on the planet, from startups to the world’s biggest corporations, scrapes vast amounts of data,” Musk added.
The necessity of bringing large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis just to facilitate some AI startup’s outrageous valuation is rather galling.”
Concerns about the mass use of platform data to train AI models led Reddit to make companies pay for access to its data.
A data scientist and ex-Twitter employee, Dr Rumman Chowdhury, told the BBC it was unclear whether AI organisations were scraping Twitter data.
“Honestly, I believe that he is trying to reduce his costs as a result of not paying his bills,” she said.
Court filings show that an Australian project management firm filed a lawsuit against Twitter in a US court seeking payment of over A$1m (£534,000) for work done in four countries.
In May, a former public relations firm filed a suit in a New York court saying Twitter had not paid its bills, while Innisfree M&A Inc sues Twitter for unpaid bills after it advised Twitter on its Musk acquisition earlier this year. It seeks $1.9 million (£1.4 million) for its unpaid bills.
In the months since Mr Musk acquired Twitter, he laid off half the workforce and introduced a subscription service, which provides the sought-after “verified” badge.
Considering that a platform requires engagement, limiting posts seems counterproductive. The tactic is “extreme and unprecedented” and is already failing, according to Dr Chowdhury.
Due to Mr Musk’s content moderation policy, Twitter saw advertisers flee, affecting its revenue.
Musk claimed that most of the company’s advertisers were returning to the company when he spoke with the BBC in April.