With new reading restrictions on the short message service Twitter, owner Elon Musk has caused a wave of criticism and guesswork about the background. Musk surprisingly announced that users can temporarily only read a certain number of posts per day. Previously, many users had reported problems with the platform.
According to Musk, different rules apply to different user groups: users with verified accounts can still read 6,000 posts per day on Twitter until further notice. For those with unverified accounts, there are only up to 600 posts per day. New unverified accounts only have access to a maximum of 300 posts.
The read restrictions are necessary, Musk wrote, to counteract an "extreme level of data skimming and system manipulation". He didn't explain what he meant by that. In the past, however, he had expressed his displeasure that many companies tapped Twitter data to train artificial intelligence, for example.
"Frequency Limit Exceeded"
Many users criticized the procedure because they could no longer access the content shared on the platform as usual. "Frequency Limit Exceeded," read an often-shared screenshot of those who had hit their limit. The hashtag spread in German-speaking countries
Musk reacted and announced in another post on Twitter that he wanted to increase the limit soon. Users of verified accounts could then read up to 8000 posts per day instead of 6000, those with unverified accounts 800 instead of 600. New unverified accounts would then have access to a maximum of 400 instead of 300 posts. He later tweeted, "Now at 10,000, 1,000 and 500." He could have meant that the limit should be increased again.
The fact that different reading restrictions apply to verified and unverified users also caused harsh criticism. The background: Twitter had changed the assignment of verification ticks under Musk. Users can get these with a paid subscription and only have to enter a phone number. Twitter used to give them only to properly verified public interest accounts.
Twitter in crisis mode
A lot has changed in the short message service since Musk took over Twitter a good eight months ago. The rededication of the verification tick caused a lot of criticism. Many celebrities for whom the ticks were once created refused to pay money for them. In contrast, many Musk fans and right-wingers, encouraged by Musk as an influential amplifier of their political views, jumped on the bandwagon.
Musk bought Twitter for around $44 billion last October. This was followed by a slump in advertising revenue, and he now relies more on subscription revenue. The subscription costs EUR 9.52 per month for one user. Companies and organizations should pay a monthly basic fee of 950 euros plus 50 euros for each linked account for a golden yellow verification symbol.