Twitter Imposes Temporary Limits to Curb Data Scraping: Musk

twitter rate limits

In response to extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation on Twitter, owner Elon Musk announced today that the platform would enforce temporary limitations on the number of posts users could read per day. Musk revealed these measures in a series of tweets.

Under these temporary restrictions, verified accounts could only read up to 6,000 posts per day, while unverified accounts were limited to 600 posts. New unverified accounts had an even stricter limit of 300 posts per day, said Musk initially.

Later after, Musk tweeted that these rate limits were increasing to 8,000 for verified accounts, 800 for unverified accounts, and 400 for new unverified accounts. Eventually, the limits rose to 10,000, 1,000, and 500 posts per day, respectively.

In another tweet, Musk highlighted the platform’s growing popularity, stating that Twitter reached a new all-time high in user-seconds the previous week. He further clarified that the user-seconds metric was now based on phone screen time as reported by iOS and Android, making it challenging to manipulate.

Responding to a question from user James Stephenson about the relevance of phone user-seconds for Twitter engagement, Musk confirmed its significance.

The Twitter head also further addressed the issue of data scraping in another tweet thread. He pointed out that, despite being prohibited by Twitter’s terms and conditions, several organizations continued to scrape data aggressively, impacting the user experience.

Musk alleged these organizations ignored rules, masked their IPs through proxy servers, and appeared legitimate. He cited an example of a large-scale scraping operation that used Oracle’s servers.

According to Musk, he threatened legal action against the perpetrators, stating, “We absolutely will take legal action against those who stole our data & look forward to seeing them in court, which is (optimistically) 2 to 3 years from now.”

In a call for collaborative problem-solving, Musk asked his followers for ideas to halt such aggressive data scraping, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive user experience on the platform.

Signs limits were coming to Twitter started yesterday, when the company started requiring a login on its main page to see tweets.

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