Some people asked me to share what I just shared in a space about the rate limits. I don’t work for Twitter, but I do architect IT cloud solutions as my day job. It is temporary.
Twitter’s rate-limiting policy is not what everyone thinks it is. It is not to punish non-paying users. “Data scraping” is a big deal. This is where automated systems load the website or app and pull your tweets or data. It’s a huge security issue. Automated systems are pulling every tweet, word, and user account information to store in an unknown database somewhere else.
This could be state actors like China, the US Government, Australia, or other bad political actors like PACs that are trying to gain access to everyone’s information to analyze and use for nefarious things. Manipulating what is said on the site can be done at scale with data scraping.
It could also be used to figure out the identity of Anonymous or to punish people in their country for what they tweet. Looking at you, #Australia, #Canada, and #UnitedKingdom The temporary measures of limiting tweets are to protect users just as much as they are to protect the entire Twitter network from going down.
They are currently scrambling to get ahead of this and tune their network security to prevent it from happening again. It’s also important to note that Twitter has more than 500,000 servers. That’s not free. In cloud data centers, the companies that use them have to pay for what is called “ingress and egress” of data going “in and out” of the servers.
A data scraping event that is large enough for them to start limiting means that it was a MASSIVE event that could be considered an attack on the site. It would also put a massive load on their servers and cost them so much money that it could threaten the site’s financial ability to keep running.
It could be on purpose to put Twitter out of business for cost alone. Many people are misunderstanding why @elonmusk wants people to pay for Twitter or for the Twitter API (a programming interface that can pull data for other sites and apps). The reason he wants people to pay is because, if China or porn companies want to create massive bot farms of fake accounts, it is currently free.
These bad actors are highly skilled and operate like businesses. They have professional staff that continuously changes their tactics, and Twitter engineers have to fight 24/7 to stay ahead of them. If they had to pay for every account or pay to use the API, it would cost them A LOT of money.
This limits the number of people who could create bots, put automated porn on here, and conduct hacking, scraping, or DDOS attacks on the site. It protects you. It also guarantees Twitter will continue to exist without being bloated with tons of ads.
This is all part of the plan to create a free-speech space we can enjoy without being controlled by outside actors or advertising companies. I know $8 is a lot to some people, but it is for many reasons. None of the reasons are to hurt or punish people.
Some people asked me to share what I just shared in a space about the rate limits. I don't work for Twitter but, I do architect IT cloud solutions as my day job.— The Sicilian Irish Robot (@misteryrobozo) July 1, 2023
It is temporary. Twitter's rate limiting is not what everyone is thinking it is. It is not to punish non-paying… https://t.co/Wxa9jJEVZn