Elon Musk, the executive chair of Twitter, announced in a statement on the social media platform on Saturday that the company is restricting the number of tweets that different accounts can read each day to prevent “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation.
According to Musk, verified users are currently only permitted to read 6,000 posts per day, while unverified accounts will only be permitted to read 600 posts per day, with a cap of 300 for newly created unverified accounts.
Musk stated in a separate post on Twitter that the temporary reading restriction would soon be increased to 8,000 posts per day for verified users, 800 posts per day for unverified users, and 400 posts per day for new unverified users. He did not specify when the change would be put into effect, though.
In its broadest sense, data scraping is described as a method where a computer program collects data from output produced by another program. Web scraping, the process of utilizing an application to extract useful information from a website, is a common example of data scraping.
In most cases, businesses do not want their original content to be copied and utilized for illicit reasons. They consequently do not make all of their data available via a consumable API or other readily available resource. On the other side, scraper bots are motivated to obtain website data despite any efforts to restrict access. As a result, there is a cat-and-mouse game going on between different content protection measures and web scraping bots where each is trying to outwit the other.
Twitter had already announced that users will need to have an account on the social media site in order to view tweets; on Friday, Musk dubbed this change a “temporary emergency measure.”
Musk claimed that at least a thousand companies were “extremely aggressively” scraping Twitter data, which was negatively affecting user experience.