Twitter applies temporary reading limits for all users, Elon Musk announces | Science & Tech News

Twitter has applied temporary daily reading limits to address “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation, Elon Musk has said.

In a tweet, the billionaire gave details for both verified, unverified and new unverified accounts – followed by another post about two hours later, saying the caps would be “increasing soon”.

Verified Twitter users were temporarily limited to reading 6,000 posts a day – later increased to 8,000.

Unverified accounts – those without a blue tick – were initially limited to reading 600 posts a day, while new unverified accounts were limited to 300 posts a day. These figures were later increased to 800 and 400 respectively and then increased again to 1,000 and 500.

In a second post, Musk joked: “Rate limited due to reading all the posts about rate limits.”

Depending on how many tweets you’ve viewed today – and whether or not you’re verified – you might be able to read Musk’s latest message here.

However, if you’re one of the Twitter users seeing a message stating “rate limit exceeded”, you can see his original post here.

Elon Musk has announced "temporary limits" to the amount of posts people can read a day on Twitter. Pic: Twitter
Elon Musk has announced “temporary limits” to the amount of posts people can read a day on Twitter. Pic: Twitter

The announcement soon led to RIP Twitter and #Twitterdown trending on the social media site.

Musk, who is also the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, has not said how long the temporary limits will last for.

People started reporting problems shortly after midday UK time, according to problem and outage monitoring site Downdetector. By 6pm, the website had received thousands of reports.

It comes after people trying to access Twitter on Friday were told they would have to be logged into an account to view tweets, in what Musk called a “temporary emergency measure”.

And in February, an outage meant many users were not able to tweet, follow accounts or access their direct messages as the platform was plagued by widespread technical problems.

The billionaire completed a $44bn (£35bn) takeover of the social media site in October 2022, and in April introduced a payment system for “blue ticks”, or verified accounts. Subscribers are able to post longer tweets and are also able to make changes to published tweets, see about half as many adverts, and use non-fungible token (NFT) profile pictures.

High-profile figures and celebrities said the move leaves the platform open to imposters and disinformation, while Twitter has said the service “elevates quality conversations”.

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Since the entrepreneur’s acquisition, Twitter has cut costs dramatically and laid off thousands of employees, including many who had worked on efforts to prevent harmful and illegal content, protect election integrity, and surface accurate information on the site.

In December, just weeks after the takeover, he tweeted: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job.”

In May, then NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino was announced as Twitter’s new chief executive, with Musk, 52, saying he would take up the role of executive chairman.

The pledge came after millions of Twitter users asked him to step down in a poll Musk created and promised to abide by.