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Twitter Faces Technical Challenges as Musk Addresses Data Scraping Concerns

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Twitter, the popular social media platform, experienced technical difficulties over the weekend, leaving users frustrated with error messages and limited access to tweets. These issues came in the wake of CEO Elon Musk’s announcement about taking immediate action against excessive data scraping and the implementation of temporary measures to safeguard user experience. This article delves into the recent challenges faced by Twitter and sheds light on Musk’s efforts to address the data scraping problem.

Technical Glitches and User Frustrations:

On Saturday, visitors to the Twitter website encountered error messages like “rate limit exceeded” and “cannot retrieve tweets.” This followed an incident on Friday where non-logged-in users were redirected to a signup page, which Musk described as a temporary emergency measure to counter data pillaging that was affecting normal user experience. The influx of data scraping activities, particularly by artificial intelligence companies, necessitated drastic action to maintain service quality.

Musk’s Approach to Protecting User Data:

Elon Musk, who took over as CEO of Twitter in October, made several strategic changes to the platform to enhance user experience and safeguard data. One of his initial moves was redirecting visitors to the Explore page instead of the signup page, allowing users to access trending tweets and news stories. Musk expressed concerns about unauthenticated access on social media platforms, warning that they would become “bot-strewn hellscapes” once they gained relevance.

Temporary Limitations on Tweet Access:

To mitigate the impact of data scraping, Musk announced temporary limitations on tweet access. Verified Twitter accounts were restricted to reading 6,000 posts per day, while unverified accounts were limited to 600 posts, and new unverified accounts to 300 posts. Later, Musk indicated that these numbers would be increased to 8,000, 800, and 400, respectively. These measures aimed to balance the demands of data security and user engagement.

User Reactions and Twitter’s Response:

As news of the technical difficulties spread, Twitter users expressed their frustrations through trending topics and memes, with hashtags like #TwitterDown and “Wtf Twitter” gaining traction. Fortune reached out to Twitter for comment but received no immediate response from the company. The Downdetector website showed a surge in user reports of issues with the platform, surpassing 7,500 during the weekend.

Twitter’s Chaotic Revamp Under Musk:

Since Elon Musk’s ownership, Twitter has undergone significant changes characterized by mass layoffs, technical challenges, and impulsive decisions that were later reversed. In February, users in North America experienced limitations on sending tweets, prompting Musk to prioritize system stability and robustness. Additionally, in early March, users encountered errors when clicking on links within tweets, highlighting ongoing technical obstacles.

Conclusion:

Twitter’s recent technical difficulties and the actions taken by CEO Elon Musk reflect the challenges faced by the platform regarding data scraping and service stability. While the limitations on tweet access aim to protect user data, they have also triggered frustrations among users. As Twitter continues to evolve under Musk’s leadership, addressing these technical issues will be crucial to ensure a seamless user experience and reinforce data security on the platform.

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