SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter owner Elon Musk has limited the number of tweets that users can view each day — restrictions he described as an attempt to prevent unauthorized scraping of potentially valuable data from the social media platform.
The site is now requiring people to log on to view tweets and profiles — a change in its longtime practice to allow everyone to peruse the chatter on what Musk has frequently touted as the world’s digital town square since buying it for $44 billion last year.
The restrictions could result in users being locked out of Twitter for the day after scrolling through several hundred tweets. Thousands of users complained Saturday of not being able to access the site.
In a Friday tweet, Musk described the new restrictions as a temporary measure that was taken because “we were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!”
Musk has pushed back on what he calls misuse of Twitter data to train popular artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT. They scour reams of information online to generate human-like text, photos, video and other content.
Musk elaborated on the limits Saturday, saying unverified accounts will temporarily be restricted to reading 600 posts per day, while verified accounts will be able to scroll through up to 6,000.
After facing backlash, he tweeted that the thresholds would be raised to 800 posts for unverified accounts and 8,000 for verified accounts before later settling on 1,000 and 10,000 tweets, respectively.
The crackdown began to have ripple effects, causing more than 7,500 people at one point Saturday to report problems using the social media service, based on complaints registered on Downdetector, a website that tracks online outages.