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Twitter said it needed to limit usage without warning so it could detect "bad actors"

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Over the weekend, Twitter owner Elon Musk announced that users of the social networking service would be limited to how many posts they could read each day. At the time, Musk stated the decision was made to "address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation."

The sudden decision didn't sit well with most Twitter users. Today, Twitter published a post on its business blog site to better explain its actions, and what users can expect in the future.

The post started by saying:

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.

The post claimed these bots were scraping Twitter user data for "AI models". It also claims that the bots were "manipulating people and conversation on the platform in various ways." The company didn't specify which organizations were using bots for AI modeling data.

The blog also claimed this new user limit on posts only affected "a small percentage of people using the platform" and that it had a "minimal" effect on its advertising platform. The post hinted that things might return to normal as it stated it would "provide an update when the work is complete."

The post ended with this statement:

While this work will never be done, we’re all deeply committed to making Twitter a better place for everyone.

At times, even for a brief moment, you must slow down to speed up.

We appreciate your patience.

The move to limit the number of posts by users has sent lots of Twitter users to alternative sites, including Mastodon and the invite-only Bluesky. Twitter will reportedly get even more competition on Thursday when Meta is expected to launch its rival service, Threads.

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