April 22, 2024

Elon Musk said on Saturday that Twitter would temporarily limit the number of posts users can read each day to address concerns over data scraping, just hours after thousands of users reported widespread problems using the site. worry.

Many of these users reported that they received an error message saying they had “exceeded” a “rate limit,” indicating that they had broken Twitter’s rules by downloading and viewing too many tweets.

mr musk who explain On Friday, “hundreds of organizations” were getting access to Twitter’s data through a process called “scraping,” and “this is impacting the real user experience,” without saying how long the restrictions would last or what might prompted him to lift the restrictions.

He initially said that verified accounts could only read 6,000 posts per day, unverified accounts could only read 600 posts per day, and new unverified accounts could only read 300 posts per day.

About two hours later, he raised the verified limit to 8,000, the unverified limit to 800, the new unverified limit to 400, and then raised the limits again to 10,000, 1,000, and 500 early Saturday night .

“Rates capped due to reading all the posts about rate caps,” Mr. Musk explain on twitter.

The billionaire has been outspoken about his dislike for organizations that scrape Twitter and use it for research or to train artificial intelligence programs.

But Saturday’s change sparked dissatisfaction with the platform among some users, with many questioning why their online activity had been reduced so drastically.

The phrase “exceeding the rate limit” was trending on Twitter, prompting memes on the site about people inconvenienced by the new policy. DownDetector, a website that tracks reports of multiple website outages, showed a spike in user reports of problems with Twitter on Saturday.

Other users had more pragmatic concerns, including how daily limits would affect how people monitor severe weather on the platform, which often involves scrolling through dozens of updates, alerts and warnings.

“The Twitter change today is literally a dumpster fire,” said James Spann, a meteorologist in Alabama. explain on twitter. “Unless something changes, this platform is pretty much useless to those of us in meteorology right now.”

An email sent to Twitter’s communications department seeking comment was answered with a poop emoji.

Since Musk took over the company in October and laid off more than 75% of the company’s workforce, Twitter has become erratic, with features or the entire site sometimes down without explanation.

On Saturday, company engineers raced to diagnose problems via private Slack channels, according to two employees. Twitter salespeople realized that some ads weren’t showing on the social network and asked what they should tell advertisers, these people said.

An internal report obtained by The New York Times showed that in the five weeks from April 1 to the first week of May, Twitter’s U.S. ad revenue was $88 million, down 59% from a year earlier.

The company routinely missed weekly U.S. sales expectations, sometimes by as much as 30%, the filing said.

Twitter’s frenzy of change continues to inspire some users to try other similar social media sites, such as Mastodon, which aims to be a “viable alternative to Twitter,” and Bluesky, a social network that offers many of the same core features as Twitter. Twitter does.

Bluesky is currently invite-only, but the company’s name was trending on Twitter on Saturday.

On Saturday, one Twitter user seemed to have had enough, writing: “Brother I need Bluesky code badly.”

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