- Twitter was down for many users for several hours on Saturday.
- Users reported outages more than 13,000 times in the US and UK, per DownDetector.
- The issues may be related to a new policy Elon Musk announced, limiting how many tweets users can read a day.
Twitter appeared to go down on Saturday for tens of thousands of users.
According to outage tracking site DownDetector, nearly 13,000 users reported issues with accessing the site, including more than 5,300 outages reported in the UK and over 7,500 in the US.
Users tweeted to say the site had been unavailable when they were able to regain access. Some said they received a notification that read: “Sorry, you are rate limited. Please wait a few moments then try again.”
The term “Rate Limit Exceeded” was trending on the platform Saturday, with thousands of tweets sent out using the phrase.
Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted Friday night that it had to “bring large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis” after AI companies were scraping “extreme levels” of data from the platform.
Then, on Saturday, Musk took the anti-scraping measures further, announcing that Twitter would temporarily limit how many tweets users can read per day, effectively limiting how long any one user will interact with Twitter on a given day.
Verified users, which are largely accounts subscribed to Musk’s troubled Twitter Blue program, will be able to read 6,000 posts per day, while unverified and newly created unverified accounts will be able to see just 600 and 300 posts per day, respectively.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 1, 2023
The decision was met with confusion and apparent new interest in other platforms as Elon, BlueSky, Jack Dorsey, Tumblr, Twitter Blue, Mastodon, and Hive were all trending Saturday afternoon.
Musk’s Friday tweets came after users complained that they couldn’t view tweets without logging in and couldn’t share tweet previews with a link. Musk later said that was a temporary measure to stop companies from scraping data from Twitter.
The large language models that power AI bots like ChatGPT are trained by reading an immense amount of content that is pulled from across the internet, and Musk has taken a hostile stance to AI companies training their LLMs on Twitter data without paying for it.
It’s not confirmed whether Saturday’s outage was related to the changes made Friday or whether it was users experiencing the daily limits before Musk announced them Saturday, but some of Twitter’s recent string of outages and glitches since Musk took over have been caused by a small mistake or change to the platform, Insider previously reported.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from Insider, as it changed its policy for interacting with the media earlier this year.
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