Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, has taken action to tackle the growing concerns surrounding excessive data scraping and system manipulation on the popular social media platform.
As a result, temporary limitations have been placed on user activity, leading to widespread reports of users being unable to access Twitter.
Twitter Data Scrapping
On Saturday, numerous individuals expressed frustration over their inability to use the platform following Musk’s announcement of specific restrictions.
Verified accounts were temporarily limited to reading 6,000 posts per day, while unverified accounts were restricted to 600 posts per day. Additionally, new unverified accounts were limited to 300 posts per day.
- Elon described these measures as “temporary emergency measures” to combat the issues at hand.
Numerous users who attempted to access or post content on Twitter’s website or mobile app encountered error messages such as “Rate limit exceeded” or “Cannot retrieve tweets,” according to NBS. As of 11 a.m. ET, over 7,300 people reported issues with Twitter on the website Downdetector.
In response to the raised concerns, Musk provided further information, stating that the rate limits would soon increase to 8,000 posts per day for verified accounts, 800 posts per day for unverified accounts, and 400 posts per day for new unverified accounts. This adjustment aims to strike a balance between addressing data scraping and manipulation issues while minimizing the impact on user experience.
Elon Musk’s tenure as the CEO of Twitter has brought about significant changes and features on the platform. Since assuming control in October 2022, Twitter has undergone a series of transformations, including revisions to the criteria for blue check verification and modifications to the site’s appearance. Here is a chronological timeline of key modifications made since Musk’s takeover:
Upon acquiring Twitter, Musk expressed his primary intention as aiding humanity and establishing the platform as a “common digital town square,” rather than seeking financial gain. However, the alterations made by Musk on Twitter have frequently faced resistance from users concerned about the platform’s declining trajectory under his leadership.
The restrictions announced on Friday, June 30, had immediate ripple effects, with over 7,500 users at one point reporting problems using the social media service, according to Downdetector. The hashtag #TwitterDown trended in some parts of the world, including Nigeria.
Further Details on Twitter Data Scraping
Musk later increased the temporary reading limitations to 10,000 posts per day for verified users, 1,000 posts per day for unverified users, and 500 posts per day for new unverified users, without providing further explanation.
Data scraping, or web scraping, has gained popularity alongside the widespread adoption of generative AI. It involves extracting data from websites and saving it for various purposes. While data scraping can be used for legitimate purposes such as competitor analysis and market research, it can also be employed maliciously to steal personal information or manipulate AI tools.
Data scraping can impact Twitter in several ways, including increased server load, privacy concerns, and copyright infringement. Twitter has previously implemented measures to prevent data scraping, but it remains a persistent challenge.
Twitter Users Reactions and Thoughts
The recent policy changes have received mixed reactions from users. Some welcome the policy, viewing it as a means to protect their privacy, while others criticize it for making it difficult to track the success of their tweets or identify trends on Twitter.
It is too early to determine the full impact of the new policy, as user reactions will play a significant role. If users find the policy overly restrictive, they may consider switching to alternative social media platforms. Conversely, if users perceive the policy as beneficial for safeguarding their privacy, they are more likely to continue using Twitter.
The emergence of trending hashtags such as ‘Goodbye Twitter,’ ‘Truth Social,’ ‘Crowwe,’ ‘RIP Twitter,’ and ‘Truth App’ indicates that users may be contemplating a shift to other platforms.
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