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Elon Musk blames AI Startups’ data scraping for unexpected Twitter Paywalls, but this may be part of a bigger plan.



Elon Musk introduces Twitter Paywalls
Elon Musk blames AI companies for Twitter Paywalls

Twitter paywalls mean that you need to signup for reading tweets, and have to be a Twitter blue “verified” user to access more than 600 posts a day.

Elon Musk has once again blamed AI companies extracting large volumes of data for his recent action of introducing Twitter Paywalls. In response to these limitations, Musk announced the implementation of new, albeit temporary, constraints on the number of posts users can access within a single day.

Under the updated guidelines, unverified accounts will be restricted to viewing a maximum of 600 posts per day. For newly created unverified accounts, this number further decreases to just 300 posts per day. Verified accounts, which include those acquired through the Twitter Blue subscription, obtained through organizations, or verified through Elon Musk’s insistence, will still have their access limited to a maximum of 6,000 posts per day.

Not long after the initial announcement, Musk took to Twitter again to reveal his plans of raising the rate limits in the near future. According to his tweet, verified users will soon enjoy an increased allowance of 8,000 tweets per day, while unverified accounts will have their limit raised to 800 tweets per day. New unverified accounts can also look forward to a raised cap of 400 posts per day. As per Elon musk Twitter paywalls help strike a balance between user engagement and preventing excessive data extraction.

By implementing twitter paywalls, Musk intends to ensure a more controlled flow of information on Twitter, while addressing concerns surrounding the unrestricted scraping of data by AI companies. The adjustments are part of ongoing efforts to strike a balance between preserving user experience and mitigating potential misuse of the platform.

You will be logged out of you Twitter account.

Twitter recently implemented limitations on its platform, restricting access for users who are not logged in. This decision came shortly after an incident where Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, expressed the necessity of such measures. Musk stated that numerous organizations, potentially numbering in the hundreds, had been aggressively scraping data from Twitter. Their actions had begun to significantly impact the experience of genuine users, leading to the implementation of these restrictions.

This recent change is also one among several strategies Musk has employed to monetize Twitter over the past few months. In March, the company announced a three-tier API change, introducing fees for API usage. This decision came merely three months after the introduction of Twitter Blue, a revamped pay-for-verification program priced at $8 per month. Furthermore, Musk has appointed Linda Yaccarino, a former advertising executive from NBC Universal, as the new CEO. Yaccarino’s primary role is to rebuild relationships with advertisers who had reduced their spending on Twitter. By implementing these various measures, Musk aims to bolster the platform’s revenue streams and enhance its overall financial performance.

Following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, there has been a noticeable dearth of information regarding the company’s financial standing. Nevertheless, the recent appointment of Yaccarino, which highlights the significance of advertising revenue to Twitter’s operations, sheds light on the company’s underlying priorities. It is worth noting, however, that restricting access to the platform contradicts the fundamental objective of providing ample opportunities for advertisers to showcase their paid ad placements. While Musk’s perspective may be influenced by his proclivity for monopolistic thinking, it is important to recognize that his stance may inadvertently overlook the crucial role that ad visibility plays in sustaining Twitter’s revenue streams.

Are AI companies like ChatGPT really to blame?

In a peculiar turn of events, Musk has shifted blame onto companies that seek to leverage data for the purpose of training large language models (LLMs), such as those powering ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing, and Google Bard. His contentions revolve around these entities’ usage of data for artificial intelligence (AI) training. By attributing responsibility to these companies, Musk implies that their activities are in some way detrimental to the advancement of AI.
However, the layoffs orchestrated by Twitter’s CEO, which accounted for over half of the company’s workforce, were conspicuously absent from his remarks. These layoffs included individuals crucial to the maintenance of Twitter’s infrastructure, and their absence has had significant repercussions.

Twitter did not pay its Google Cloud bill

A notable incident in March revealed the extent of Twitter’s vulnerabilities, as a single engineer’s alteration caused a widespread outage. This incident shed light on another alarming fact: Twitter had neglected to pay its Google Cloud bill for several months until recently. This revelation aligns with the earlier disclosed “Deep Cuts Plan,”, aimed at slashing infrastructure costs by millions of dollars daily.

In a November interview with an anonymous Twitter engineer, MIT Technology Review uncovered a grim forecast following the staff reductions. The engineer predicted a surge in system failures, prolonged periods of service disruption, and more severe technical issues. Initially, these problems may have seemed like minor inconveniences, but with delays in backend fixes, they have accumulated over time, leading to a potential breaking point. Similarly, site reliability engineer Ben Kreuger expressed his concerns, stating that significant public-facing problems with Twitter’s technology were likely to arise within six months. It has now been seven months since his statement, and these concerns have proven to be valid.


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