Rate limit exceeded: Twitter experienced service disruptions affecting a large number of users worldwide on Saturday. Thousands of individuals expressed complaints about encountering difficulties accessing the platform. The issue arose after Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, implemented restrictions that limited most users to viewing only 600 tweets per day. Musk stated that these measures were implemented to prevent unauthorized scraping of valuable data from the site.
The impact of this crackdown became evident early on Saturday, with over 7,500 people reporting problems with Twitter usage, according to Down detector, a website that tracks online outages. While this number may seem relatively small compared to Twitter’s user base of over 200 million worldwide, the disruptions were significant enough for the hashtag #TwitterDown to trend in certain regions.
These service disruptions occurred shortly after Twitter introduced a change in its longstanding practice of allowing unrestricted access to tweets and profiles. Users were now required to log in to the service to view content. Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion last year, described the new restrictions as a temporary solution to address the detrimental impact of data pillaging on the platform’s overall service quality.
In a tweet on Friday, Musk explained that the restrictions were necessary because “we were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!” He further elaborated on the measures in a Saturday tweet, announcing that unverified accounts would be limited to reading 600 posts per day, while verified accounts could scroll through up to 6,000 posts per day.
These restrictions could potentially lock users out of Twitter for the day after reaching the limit of several hundred tweets. However, verified accounts, which are part of an $8 per month subscription service introduced by Musk earlier this year, have a higher threshold for daily post consumption. This subscription service aims to increase Twitter’s revenue, which has declined significantly since Musk’s acquisition of the company and subsequent workforce reduction to cut costs and avoid bankruptcy.
The changes implemented by Twitter, including allowing more controversial content that offends a wider portion of the audience, have led to advertisers reducing their spending on the platform. To address this, Musk recently appointed Linda Yaccarino, a long-time NBC Universal executive, as Twitter’s CEO, with the goal of winning back advertisers.
When the Associated Press inquired about the access problems experienced on Saturday, they received a generic automated response from Twitter that failed to address the question. Some users reached out to Elon Musk directly via tweets, expressing concerns such as “Hey Elon, my Twitter isn’t working” and “Why is there a limit on reading tweets?”
Notably, Twitter users encountered significant service disruptions in March, marking one of the largest outages since Elon Musk assumed ownership. Over 8,000 users reported experiencing disruptions during that period.
In conclusion, Twitter’s recent service disruptions and access problems have caused frustration among users worldwide. The restrictions imposed by owner Elon Musk, aimed at preventing data scraping, have resulted in thousands of complaints and a trending hashtag #TwitterDown. While these measures may be temporary, they have highlighted the challenges of balancing user access and data security on the platform. As Twitter continues to navigate these issues, it remains to be seen how the company will address the concerns of its user base and regain the trust of advertisers in order to sustain its revenue growth.