Is Twitter taking its new policies too far? The latest in its plethora of updates is that free unverified accounts will only be able to see 600 posts per day, and for “new” unverified accounts, just 300 in a day. Elon Musk continues to blame AI companies scraping “vast amounts of data” for these new limitations. Some examples are large language models (LLMs) like the ones behind ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing, and Google Bard.

Musk tweeted that the rate limits would “soon” increase to 8,000 tweets for verified users, 800 for unverified, and 400 for new unverified accounts. The limitations arrived one day after Twitter suddenly started blocking access for anyone who isn’t logged in, which Musk claimed was necessary because “Several hundred organisations (maybe more) were scraping Twitter data extremely aggressively, to the point where it was affecting the real user experience.”

If you aren’t yet familiar, this new change is just one of several ways Musk has tried to monetize Twitter in the last several months. The company announced a three-tier API change in March that would begin charging for the use of its API, just three months after finally rolling out the revamped $8 per month Twitter Blue pay-for-verification scheme. Musk has also replaced himself with a new CEO, Linda Yaccarino.

As a private company, we know less about Twitter’s financial situation than we did before Musk’s purchase, but the hiring of Yaccarino reflected how important advertising revenue is to the business. Limiting access to the site cuts directly against the goal of creating opportunities to see the ad spots companies are paying for, but Musk’s monopoly brain view of Twitter may be obscuring that.While Musk continues to blame AI companies he fails to acknowledge the effect his mass Twitter employee cuts may have on the situation. Last November, an unnamed Twitter engineer interviewed by MIT Technology Review said that after the staff reductions, “Things will be broken more often. Things will be broken for longer periods of time. Things will be broken in more severe ways… They’ll be small annoyances to start, but as the back-end fixes are being delayed, things will accumulate until people will eventually just give up.” In the same article, site reliability engineer Ben Kreuger said, “I would expect to start seeing significant public-facing problems with the technology within six months.” It has been seven.

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