Elon Musk says Twitter will limit the number of posts users see per day, citing ‘system manipulation’

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Jaap Arriens | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Elon Musk said on Saturday that Twitter users will only be able to read a certain number of posts per day due to “extreme levels of data scraping” and “system manipulation” on the platform.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, who is the executive chairman and CTO of Twitter, said that the limits are temporary, but verified accounts will be able to read 8,000 posts per day, non-verified accounts will be able to read 800 posts per day day and new unverified accounts are limited to reading 400 posts per day.

Later in the day, Musk tweeted that the limits would be increased again, “Now to 10k, 1k & 0.5k.”

Musk did not say when those restrictions will be increased or lifted entirely. He increased the limits twice from the previous levels he set earlier on Saturday afternoon.

Musk’s tweet comes as thousands of users reported problems trying to access Twitter on Saturday, marking the latest widespread outage since it acquired the social media site late last year.

Many users who have tried to access or post content on Twitter’s website or mobile app have been met with a “Level limit exceeded” or “Unable to retrieve tweets” error message. As of 11 a.m. ET, more than 7,300 people reported issues with Twitter to the Downdetector website.

Twitter responded to CNBC’s request for comment with an automated response. It’s not immediately clear whether the site’s outage is related to Twitter’s new limited reading policy.

The social media site also began limiting access to content available to users without an account on Friday. Twitter previously allowed people to view public profiles and tweets, even if they weren’t logged in, but now they’re immediately prompted with a login window.

Musk he said in a tweet Friday that “extreme and immediate action” was required due to “EXTREME” levels of data scraping. He said the restrictions would be “unlocked soon,” but the content was still limited as of Saturday afternoon.

Saturday’s outage is not the first time Twitter has suffered technical problems in recent months. In February, users were unable to post on the site for about 90 minutes after receiving a message saying, “You are over the daily limit for sending Tweets.” In March, no users could temporarily click on links or load images.

Another outage coincided with reports of data center closures and major layoffs at Twitter, which Musk said were necessary for the company’s financial health.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to reflect that Elon Musk is no longer the CEO of Twitter. He is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

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