Twitter "temporarily" restricts the number of tweets read per day
Steph Deschamps / July 3, 2023
Elon Musk has announced that Twitter will temporarily restrict the reading of tweets to contain the massive use of the social network's data by third parties, notably to feed artificial intelligence models.
Specifically, the platform will limit reading to 10,000 messages per day for verified accounts, 1,000 for unverified users and 500 for new unverified accounts, Elon Musk said on the social network after announcing lower thresholds earlier. A decision taken "to address extreme levels of data collection and system manipulation", explained Elon Musk in a tweet.
The day before, he had already announced that it would no longer be possible to read messages on the network without logging in and giving your credentials. "Hundreds of organizations (perhaps more) were gleaning data from Twitter very aggressively, to the point where it was disrupting ordinary use" by Internet users, according to the majority shareholder of the San Francisco, California-based group.
By limiting the number of tweets that can be read per account, Elon Musk aims to prevent these organizations from collecting the massive amounts of data that are used to develop so-called generative artificial intelligence (AI) models.
To develop a generative model capable of responding in a similar way to a human being to requests in everyday language, these companies have to "train" the interface by giving it examples of conversations. "Virtually every company doing AI, from start-ups to the biggest companies in the world, was collecting vast amounts of data," insisted Elon Musk. "It's a bit frustrating to have to add, in a hurry, a large number of servers just to justify the indecent valuations of some AI start-ups," he said.
These additional servers were needed to support the traffic and intensive use of the platform by software or bots, but not by ordinary users. Twitter is not alone in facing the consequences of the acceleration of generative AI and the development of services built around language models. In mid-June, the Reddit discussion platform raised the rates it charges third-party developers for using data and conversations posted on the social network. The decision sparked an outcry, as these platforms had previously provided access to public data on their sites at moderate prices or free of charge, to foster the development of an ecosystem.