Twitter Quietly Backtracks On Only Letting Logged-In Users Read Posts

It appears that just days after enforcing a new rule that required users to be logged in to read tweets, Twitter has quietly dropped the restriction. The move is on-brand with the chaotic and erratic decision-making Twitter owner Elon Musk has brought into the platform since taking over in November.

Musk tagged the new rule as a “temporary emergency measure” to prevent data from getting “pillaged.”

Neither Musk nor the company has given details on the measures that it’s been taking to prevent data scraping. The restriction was part of the limits applied to the number of tweets a user can look at each day. 

On July 1, he announced that unverified users of the platform will be limited to viewing 600 posts a day, while new unverified accounts will be limited to 300 post views a day. Verified users (read: those paying for a blue check), will be eligible to read up to 6,000 posts a day, limits which were later increased and then seemingly scrapped entirely.

In a blog post, the platform explained that temporary limits would allow them to “detect and eliminate bots and other bad actors that are harming the platform.” 

As to why the update was not announced before it was implemented, the company claims it was a strategic move, as “Any advance notice on these actions would have allowed bad actors to alter their behavior to evade detection.”

Twitter also added a vague “high-level” explanation saying they are “working to prevent these accounts from 1) scraping people’s public Twitter data to build AI models and 2) manipulating people and conversation on the platform in various ways.”

The platform noted that the change was only applied to “a small percentage of people using the platform,” and the “effects on advertising have been minimal.”

With the restriction in place, links to tweets were all redirected to the platform’s signup page. Its lifting also coincided with the eve of the launch of Meta’s (Nasdaq: META) Twitter competitor Threads

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was more than pleased to later say that Threads was downloaded 5 million times just four hours into its launch, before reaching over 30 million sign-ups in the first day.

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