Thousands of Twitter users are getting an error message saying they’ve exceeded their “rate limit” – a new innovative metric by the seemingly clueless Elon Musk.
The problem: on Saturday, thousands of Twitter users began getting an error message about the “rate limit,” suggesting that they’d violated Twitter’s rules and viewed too many tweets. This was bizarre enough.
No such rule was ever heard of before. In fact, logic dictates that Twitter, still struggling to attract advertisers, needs as many views as it can get. Twitter’s ad revenue has regularly fallen short of its US weekly sales projections, according to the New York Times.
But the explanation was even weirder. Musk, Twitter’s owner since October 2022, said that accounts were now limited to reading specific amounts of posts per day due to “extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation.”
He originally said that verified accounts would be limited to reading 6,000 posts per day, unverified accounts to 600 posts and new unverified accounts to 300 posts. On Saturday evening, the limits were raised to 10,000, 1,000, and 500, accordingly.
Even though Musk treats Twitter and the platform’s users as if he wasn’t given any toys as a kid, data scraping is a real issue in tech. Major social media sites – Reddit, for example – aren’t happy that their content is used for research or to train artificial intelligence programs such as ChatGPT.
But many users are sure this is just another push to sign on and pay for Twitter Blue “verified” access. In other words, they think they’re now facing just another paywall.
Besides, on Friday, Twitter had already suddenly started blocking access for anyone without registration – again, the reason being alleged data scraping. TweetDesk, the widely-used dashboard app, used for managing accounts, also appeared to have crashed.
Finally, even the very reason the “rate limits” have now been introduced might not be related to data scraping at all. Some specialists are speculating that Twitter self-DDoSed by overloading its server with requests – this has to do with last Friday’s move to ban access to unregistered users.
Before, users that browsed while not logged in would eventually be prompted to create an account or sign in. Now people can’t even access the site unless they have an account currently logged in.
This has resulted in Twitter requesting data that never comes, creating what’s essentially a feedback loop that could be overloading their servers. “Unbelievable. It’s amateur hour,” one user commented.
Musk is still trying to be playful, saying he set a “View Limit” because he is “doing a good deed for the world,” by making Twitter addicts go outside.
Obviously, Musk doesn’t mention his own decisions, such as when he eventually laid off more than 75% of Twitter’s employees last year, including engineers critical to maintaining the platform’s infrastructure.
The internet is an innovative place, though. Ordinary users and programmers have successfully scrambled to find a workaround Musk’s freshest idea – for example, Opera GX, a special version of the Opera browser bullet specifically for gamers, said it released a patch that removes the rate limit for all Twitter users.
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