Elon Musk Takes Action Against Data Pilferage

by Francis Ogoti
2 minutes read

Twitter has recently introduced temporary reading limits in response to significant levels of data scraping and system manipulation, as announced by Elon Musk on the social media platform. In an attempt to combat these issues and enhance user experience, Twitter implemented restrictions on the number of posts users can read per day. This measure is aimed at preventing unauthorized scraping of valuable data from the platform.

Verified accounts were initially limited to reading 6,000 posts per day, while unverified accounts and new unverified accounts were restricted to 600 and 300 posts per day, respectively. However, the temporary reading limitations were subsequently adjusted to allow verified users to read up to 10,000 posts per day, unverified users to access 1,000 posts per day, and new, unverified users to view 500 posts per day.

The decision to implement reading limits came as a response to the escalating issue of data pilferage, with Musk expressing concerns about the aggressive scraping of Twitter data by numerous organizations, which negatively impacted user experience. Musk has previously voiced his dissatisfaction with artificial intelligence firms, including OpenAI, for utilizing Twitter’s data to train their large language models.

To further address platform issues and attract advertisers who had previously left under Musk’s ownership, Twitter had already made efforts to enhance its revenue by integrating verification check marks into the Twitter Blue program. However, on a recent occasion, thousands of Twitter users reported problems with the service, including difficulties in retrieving tweets, missing timelines, and disappearing followers. The phrase “Twitterdown” trended in the UK as users expressed their frustrations.

These service issues prompted Musk to introduce the temporary reading limits as a measure to combat the excessive data pilferage and restore normalcy for Twitter’s user base. By requiring users to have an account to view tweets, Twitter aimed to mitigate the impact of data scraping, although Musk referred to this change as a “temporary emergency measure”. In conclusion, Twitter’s implementation of reading limits serves as a proactive approach to address the challenges posed by data scraping and system manipulation. These restrictions are intended to protect valuable data, enhance user experience, and ensure the smooth functioning of the platform. However, the company continues to explore further measures to mitigate data pilferage and maintain a reliable and engaging user environment.

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