After Twitter owner Elon Musk restricted most users to viewing 600 tweets per day, thousands of individuals complained about access issues on Saturday. Musk explained the restrictions as an effort to stop unauthorized scraping of potentially valuable data from the platform. Based on complaints sent to Downdetector, a website that monitors online outages, the crackdown started to have an impact early on Saturday, leading more than 7,500 people at one time to report issues using the social media service. Even if that represents a small portion of Twitter’s more than 200 million users worldwide, the issue was significant enough to make the hashtag #TwitterDown popular in several regions of the world. The outages occurred a day after Twitter changed its long-standing policy of allowing anyone to browse the conversation on what Musk has frequently referred to as the world’s digital town square since purchasing it for $44 billion last year. Previously, viewing tweets and profiles required logging into the service. Musk said in a tweet on Friday that the temporary limits were implemented because “we have been getting information pillaged a lot that it changed into the degrading carrier for everyday users! In a tweet on Saturday, Musk expanded on the measures, saying that while verified accounts will be allowed to scroll through up to 6,000 messages per day, unverified accounts will initially only be able to see 600 articles per day. After browsing through several hundred messages, users can be locked off of Twitter for the day as a result of the restrictions.
The increased threshold permitted for verified accounts is a component of an $8 monthly subscription service that Musk launched earlier this year in an effort to increase Twitter revenue, which has fallen precipitously since he took over the company and fired roughly three-fourths of the workforce to reduce costs and avoid bankruptcy.
Since then, advertisers have reduced their expenditure on Twitter in part because of developments that have made it possible for more occasionally abusive and venomous information that offends a larger segment of the service’s user base. In a move to regain advertisers, Musk most recently selected longtime NBC Universal executive Linda Yaccarino to lead Twitter.
An Associated Press query on Saturday’s access issues resulted in the rudimentary automated response that Twitter typically delivers in response to press inquiries without really answering the query.
Tweets like “Hey Elon, my Twitter isn’t working” and “A limit on reading tweets?” were sent to Musk by people who were addressing him directly.
One of the worst outages since Musk took control of Twitter occurred in March, affecting users of a wide range of services. Interruptions were reported by more than 8,000 users.