California: Twitter is currently facing intermittent problems affecting certain users worldwide, displaying an error message stating “Rate Limit Exceeded.”
For those wondering why, Twitter is limiting how many tweets per day various accounts can read, to discourage "extreme levels" of data scraping and system manipulation, Executive Chair Elon Musk said in a post on the social media platform on Saturday.
Twitter users report seeing error messages that say “Something went wrong. Try reloading” and “Sorry, you are rate limited. Please wait a few minutes, then try again” when performing a Twitter search.
Verified accounts are temporarily limited to reading 6,000 posts a day, Musk said, adding that the unverified accounts will be limited to 600 posts a day with new unverified accounts limited to 300.
The social media platform is blocking people from viewing tweets and profiles on its website unless they are signed in to the social media site - a move that owner Elon Musk earlier said is “temporary.”
When an unregistered user tries to view a tweet, the site prompts them to log in or sign up for a Twitter account. As of Friday, users could still see tweets that appeared in Google searches or were embedded in other sites.
Musk tweeted that it is a “temporary emergency measure,” to ward off people scraping the site for tweet data. “We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!”
Twitter has long relied on the accessibility of its tweets around the web to drive interest in the site - for instance, through users sending tweets to friends or contacts who don’t have accounts.
Musk has made a string of product changes since he took over the San Francisco-based company last year. In March, Twitter began charging for access to its application programming interface, or API. Twitter’s API was used by popular third-party apps like the now-defunct Tweetbot and Twitterific, in addition to academic researchers. Now Twitter is charging customers $42,000 per month to access just 1 per cent of tweets.
In April, Musk temporarily disabled likes, replies and retweets if a tweet had a link to Substack, the newsletter platform. After complaints, Musk then reversed that change.