Elon Musk Sets Limits On Twitter, Claims “Data Scraping” and “System Manipulation”

Twitter has been collapsing in slow motion since Elon Musk was forced (after he tried to renege on the $44 billion deal) to buy the social media platform last October, and this weekend, it’s seemingly on the verge of kaput. 

At first, the platform’s disintegration had ideological causes — for example, Musk’s decree that Twitter would start treating “cisgender” as a slur. And sometimes, the cause was basic operational incompetence, like vowing to make Twitter “the world’s most accurate real-time information source” and then requiring payment for verification – something most credible reporters cannot and/or will not do. 

When the owner of Twitter tells you to [checking notes] “Step away from the phone to see your friends & family,” you know something is off-kilter.

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On Friday, users noticed that Twitter pages were no longer accessible to web users who were not logged in

“It was not immediately clear whether the change was an intentional policy update or a glitch, both of which have been common at Twitter since Musk took over the platform,” wrote Clare Duffy at CNN.com, adding, “Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.”

That’s because Twitter’s communications department staff were among the first Musk fired after taking over; as of March, press attempts to reach the company were answered with a poop emoji.

It fell to Musk to explain what was going on, and Saturday, he tweeted:

“To address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits:

“- Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day

“- Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day

“- New unverified accounts to 300/day”

Musk latest clarified that those numbers had been raised to 10,000, 1000, and 500 for each tier of users.

The beleaguered social media platform has tried to win back advertisers by hiring NBC’s Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s Chief Executive Officer but it’s too early to assess if she’s going to be successful. 

The newly installed CEO admitted that some “big brands” were no longer using the platform, according to audio of a meeting obtained by The New York Times, and her team would have to engage in “hand-to-hand combat” to persuade them to return. 

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