Twitter’s reasons for rate limiting are weak

  • In a rare move, Twitter has published a blog outlining why rate limiting was introduced.
  • The platform says it implemented the limits to fight bots and prevent scraping from AI model developers.
  • The platform says that “effects on advertising have been minimal” but it has only really been a few days so those effects aren’t likely to be felt yet.

At the weekend “Rate Limit Exceeded” was something a large portion of Twitter users saw when trying to view their timeline. This message appeared for users after Elon Musk in all his wisdom decided that limiting the amount of content folks could view was a good idea.

The platform which thrives on advertiser dollars restricted all users, including those who pay the firm R150 for a blue checkmark and other “features”. Now, days later, the platform has offered an explanation and it’s weak.

“To ensure the authenticity of our user base we must take extreme measures to remove spam and bots from our platform. That’s why we temporarily limited usage so we could detect and eliminate bots and other bad actors that are harming the platform. Any advance notice on these actions would have allowed bad actors to alter their behavior to evade detection,” Twitter outlined in a blog post.

Once again, the cry of “oh the bots” is being used to justify a bone-headed move. This explanation is even more laughable when one jumps into any of Musk’s tweets which are littered with replies from accounts shilling the latest crypto token. Hell, those crypto bros even take out advertising.

It’s also telling that Twitter doesn’t relay how successful this sting operation was, given that we’re still getting adverts for crypto scams, receiving spam DMs and more, it didn’t go so well.

But the social network elaborated on why it doesn’t want bot accounts on the platform.

“At a high level, we 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,” Twitter explained.

We’re not running a social media company we bought for billions into the ground, but we suspect that one way to fight bots and bad actors is with employees. Pity that Twitter saw its numbers shrink shortly after Musk’s arrival as he tried to cut costs.

To that end, the social network says that rate limiting has had a minimal effect on advertising although we’re only a few days into these restrictions.

“Currently, the restrictions affect a small percentage of people using the platform, and we will provide an update when the work is complete. As it relates to our customers, effects on advertising have been minimal. While this work will never be done, we’re all deeply committed to making Twitter a better place for everyone,” added Twitter.

The hits don’t stop coming though as Tweetdeck has not only been made worse, it has been announced that the platform will become a Twitter Blue feature in 30 days.

All of this upheaval has folks eyeing Meta’s next big experiment, Instagram Threads. This Twitter-like platform is said to be launching later this week and if Meta doesn’t fluff the launch, we could see folks moving in earnest from Musk’s worsening hell hole to Mark Zuckerberg’s data collection emporium.

The internet really needs a shake up, doesn’t it?


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