Twitter owner Elon Musk announced on Saturday that the platform would introduce “Tweet limiting” due to “extreme” system manipulation and data scraping.
According to a statement from Musk, Twitter applied the following temporary limits, which hit new unverified accounts with 600 posts per day reading limit.
Musk said the move as combat “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation,” adding that restrictions would eventually be increased to 8,000 posts for verified users,800 for unverified accounts, and 400 for new unverified users.
The move sparked some initial backlash, with some high-profile users arguing it is nothing more than suppression of ‘free speech.’
Musk argued the move was due to counter the Twitter data scraping, which he said was hurting the user experience.
But there may be more to this than just creating a better user experience or simply attempting to force more monetization; after all, Twitter is still a business.
In April, however, another clue as to why Musk may have implemented Tweet limiting was when he threatened to sue Microsoft, who invested billions into OpenAI, for using Twitter data for training.
“They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time,” Musk wrote on Twitter on April 19.
Musk’s April tweet could signal the real reason behind his move.
Mike Benz, the Foundation For Freedom executive director, theorized there might be more going on behind the scenes.
In a video posted to Twitter, Benz begins with the statement: “AI censorship is where all of the magic happens.”
He reminds us the Twitter Files showed how The FBI might come and get 22 tweets censored, but AI is how IEP (and other 3rd-party censorship groups) could censor 22 million tweets.
Benz explains that you could not ‘control’ the internet before 2016. Still, since then, there has been an “AI Censorship Deathstar” in the works, which “relies on massive scraping of Twitter data to track trending narratives, to surveil systemically, to build intelligence dossiers, and to track and turn down – all at one – communities online.”
Twitter is the Government’s favorite network for massive data scraping (and training) because all consumers of information are also creators.
This makes scraping data important for early narrative detection and countering ‘wrong think’ via fact-checking, political pressure, propaganda, and Google Ad suppression.
But while Musk appears to have got the ‘Trust & Safety’ censors/banner/throttlers out of the loop, this massive data scrape amplifies any establishment-favored narratives.
And it appears to be working, as ChatGPT reported it could not access real-time tweets this morning.
This appeared to please Musk:
So the question is, is the “Tweet limiting” just another ploy to make more money for Twitter, or is Musk really fighting for ‘freedom’ of speech?
“You are going to see the censorship industry howl over this,” Benz concludes, and “whether Musk knows it or not, he has stepped on a rattlesnake.”
While the censorship industry will, “in a weird way, while the boot [of Musk’s tweet-read-limit] may be cutting off some amount of openness of Twitter, it may also represent in some way, the boot of freedom.”
Watch the full Benz video below:
Regardless of the theories, many conservative Twitter accounts are reporting a massive drop in reach. We hope this is temporary pain until Twitter is restored to being a real platform for free speech.