Elon Musk announced that Twitter will temporarily limit the number of tweets that users may see.

Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, has announced a temporary limit on the number of tweets users can read in a day.

Mr Musk stated in a tweet that unverified accounts are now limited to reading 1,000 messages every day.

The number is 500 for new unverified accounts. Meanwhile, “verified” users are currently limited to 10,000 posts per day.

The tech tycoon established harsher boundaries at first, but reversed them within hours of announcing the move.

Mr Musk stated that the temporary restrictions were put in place to handle “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation.”

He didn’t elaborate on what he meant by “system manipulation” in this instance.

“We were getting so much data pillaged that it was degrading service for normal users,” Mr Musk revealed on Friday, after users were prompted to check in to see Twitter material.

The action was referred to as a “temporary emergency measure.”

Mr Musk’s usage of the term “data scraping” is unclear, but it appears he means the scraping of enormous amounts of data used by artificial intelligence (AI) companies to train large language models, which power chatbots like Open AI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

Simply said, data scraping is the extraction of information from the internet. Large language models must learn from massive amounts of real-world human conversation. However, the quality of a chatbot is critical to its success. The massive database of billions of postings on Reddit and Twitter is regarded to be extremely valuable training data – and is used by AI businesses.

However, platforms such as Twitter and Reddit want to be compensated for this data.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told the New York Times in April that he was dissatisfied with what AI companies were doing.

“The Reddit corpus of data is really valuable,” he remarked. “But we don’t have to give all of that value away for free to some of the world’s largest corporations.”

Twitter has already begun charging users for access to its application programming interface (API), which is frequently utilized by third-party apps and researchers, including AI firms.

There could be other reasons for the relocation as well.

Mr Musk has been promoting Twitter Blue, the company’s paid subscription service. It’s probable he’s considering a strategy in which users will have to pay to access the entire Twitter service – including limitless posts.

Before Mr Musk took over as CEO, Twitter gave “verified” status to high-profile accounts for free, as indicated by a blue tick. Most users must now pay a monthly subscription fee of $8 (£6.30) to be verified, and they can get the status regardless of their profile.

According to the website Downdetector, which analyzes online outages, around 16:12 BST on Saturday, a peak of 5,126 individuals reported difficulty accessing the platform in the UK.

Around the same period, 7,461 people in the United States reported issues.

Mr. Musk initially proposed daily reading limitations of 6,000 posts for verified accounts, 600 for unverified accounts, and 300 for new unverified accounts.

Mr Musk stated in another update that “several hundred organizations (possibly more) were scraping Twitter data extremely aggressively.”

He later admitted that his website had been overburdened, stating it was “rather galling to have to bring large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis.”

A server is a sophisticated computer that manages and stores files while also providing users with services such as web pages.

According to Adam Leon Smith of BCS, the UK’s professional body for IT, the move is “very odd” because limiting users’ scroll time would damage the company’s advertising revenue.

Mr Musk paid $44 billion (£35 billion) for the company last year after much haggling. He criticized Twitter’s prior leadership and stated that he does not want the network to become an echo chamber.

Soon after taking over, he reduced the employment from little under 8,000 to around 1,500 people.

In an interview with the BBC, he stated that reducing the workforce was not an easy task.

Engineers were among those laid off, and their departure prompted questions about the platform’s stability.

While Mr Musk admitted some issues, he told the BBC in April that outages had been brief and that the site was operational.

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