A few days ago, Twitter, owned by Elon Musk, made it compulsory to block users who don’t have accounts from viewing tweets. This meant that a user had to be logged into Twitter to view a tweet. The microblogging site has since undone the change and now allows users to view tweets without first creating a Twitter account. There appears to be a catch, though. If a user isn’t logged in, they might only be able to see the first tweet in a Twitter thread. Additionally, the restrictions may not have been lifted at all for some individuals.
Musk said that he took these “temporary” measures to stop data scraping when Twitter began enforcing the login requirement.
“Temporary emergency measure. We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!” he said in a tweet.
Temporary emergency measure. We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 30, 2023
The company hasn’t provided any details regarding the measures it has taken to stop scraping or made any official announcements about allowing users to view links even if they aren’t signed in.
A day before Meta launches Threads, its text-based program, Twitter makes its move. Interestingly, before withdrawing the links, Threads also briefly allowed individuals to view tweets web without logging in. When the app officially launches, people will likely be able to see Threads postings without creating an account.
Twitter’s rate limit
Another action by Twitter that was met with significant backlash from internet users is the implementation of a rate limit for its users. Users can only view a certain number of tweets each day due to the rate limit. Verified accounts can now access thousands of tweets while unverified accounts may only access a few hundred, according to the changes. Many Twitter users expressed their dissatisfaction with the platform in response to this, and some even started exploring alternative options.
In a blog post, the company said that this change has affected a “small percentage of people” and “effects on advertising have been minimal.”
“To address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits: Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day, Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day, New unverified accounts to 300/day,” Musk’s tweet read.
Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino said that sometimes “big moves” are needed to build a platform to defend the rate cap and any other changes.