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Elon Musk applies temporary limits on reading Twitter posts

Published July 1, 2023last updated July 2, 2023

Twitter owner Elon Musk announced new restrictions for verified and unverified users in a bid to address "data scraping & system manipulation."

Twitter owner Elon Musk
As owner of Twitter, Musk has shaken up the platform with new changes such as Twitter BlueImage: Benjamin Fanjoy/AP/dpa/picture alliance

Elon Musk is temporarily limiting the number of tweets people can read.

Musk, who is the CTO  and owner of Twitter, said Saturday the move was to address "extreme levels of data scrapping & system manipulation."

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO tweeted that verified accounts would be able to read 10000 tweets a day and unverified accounts would be able to read 1000 tweets a day. Newly created unverified accounts will be limited to 500 tweets a day.

Musk initially announced stricter limits, but he changed it within hours.

He did not mention when the restriction would be lifted.

The announcement comes after users reported they were met with error messages that read "Cannot retreive tweets." 

Thousands said they were unable to access the social media site, according to website Downdetector, which tracks internet disruptions.

Twitter on Friday began restricting content to users without an account, with Musk saying Friday that "drastic and immediate action was necessary due to EXTREME levels of data scraping."

Data scraping refers to a process where data or content is extracted from one site, often without permission, to be displayed on another. 

Twitter previously allowed people to view content without having signed in.

The site has suffered technical difficulties in recent months.

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Musk shakes up Twitter 

Musk bought Twitter last year in October for $44 billion (€40.4 billion) after months of legal wrangling over the company.

But in the months following the takeover, Musk, as the CEO of the company, faced criticism over management of the site as offensive content began appearing a lot more on the website and advertising revenue declined.

He then introduced Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that verifies people with a blue checkmark.

The blue tick to verify people previously used to authenticate influential people.

But the symbol, since becoming paid, has declined in status. 

rm/wd (Reuters, AFP)