The walls around the walled garden of Twitter were raised even higher this week.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced Saturday that the blue bird app is taking steps to limit verified accounts to reading 6,000 posts daily, while unverified accounts and new unverified accounts are being capped daily at 600 and 300 respectively.


Claiming the sudden change is being implemented to combat “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation,” Musk said the daily restrictions would eventually be raised to 8,000 posts for verified users, 800 for unverified accounts, and 400 for new unverified users.

In the meantime, thousands of Twitter users are reportedly facing broken home feeds and comment threads, with “#TwitterDown” being the top trending hashtag as of Saturday.

Twitter’s technical problems stem from its own fundamentally bad architecture, some commentators are saying.

“Twitter is DDOSing itself” by “firing off about 10 requests a second to itself to try and fetch content that never arrives because Elon’s latest genius innovation is to block people from being able to read Twitter without logging in,” observed web developer Sheldon Chang on Mastodon.


Chang was referring to the previous major change Twitter made to its service just yesterday, removing public access to tweets. However, Twitter’s own documentation still asserts that “Tweets are public by default; anyone can view and interact with your Tweets.”

Many believe Twitter’s latest restrictions are targeted at large language model AI providers—or at least competitors to OpenAI, which Musk claims to have invented. These systems must aggressively expand their libraries to remain competitive, and they do so by scraping mass swathes of publicly available data from platforms like Twitter.

Another possible reason for Twitter’s latest move could be due to a strained relationship with Google as Bloomberg reported last week that the company had stopped paying bills from Google.

Yet, Twitter is not the only major social media platform moving to restrict platform access. Reddit also recently saw thousands of subreddits voluntarily go private in protest of the company’s new pricing for access to its API.

Like Musk, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman claimed the move was partially motivated by wanting to charge AI companies who trained their algorithms on Reddit’s data, telling The New York Times that “we don’t need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”

This isn’t the first time Musk has acted against rival social media platforms. Since purchasing Twitter in October for $44 billion, Twitter also restricted tweet embeds on Substack, and blocked likes, retweets and comments on tweets that linked out to Substack.

Dan Romero, founder of decentralized social media platform Farcaster, quipped today that his platform was rate limit-free.


Aave founder Stani Kulechov, also creator of decentralized social media platform Lens Protocol, tweeted a reminder that well-designed social media platforms should not have to make the trade-offs Musk is apparently making.

As Twitter grows more turbulent, its users are slowly migrating away from the platform. According to data compiled by Dewey Square Group, Twitter is seeing a constant decline in users, an approximate 7.7% traffic decline in March year-over-year.

In turn, rival platforms like Cohost and Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky are claiming record surges in sign-ups and traffic.

Spill, an alternative microblogging platform started by ex-Twitter employees, is also nipping at the blue bird’s talons, having recently launched its beta on the App Store.

How many fights can Elon Musk pick at once?

Just one month ago, Musk was sued in a class action lawsuit for allegedly engaging in insider trading by manipulating the price of crypto’s most resilient memecoin Dogecoin, then selling about $124 million of DOGE.


The plaintiffs alleged that Musk pumped DOGE’s price via various publicity stunts such as the change of Twitter’s logo to the Dogecoin shiba inu dog in April, and his 2021 appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

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