Twitter users informed they have hit their daily post limit, as European Commission criticises its disinformation takedown efforts
Starting around 10pm GMT on Wednesday night, users who attempted to tweet were informed by the platform they had hit their daily limit – despite many of them saying they had not tweeted that day.
The problem lasted for almost an hour the Guardian noted, and it is latest indication of problems at the platform.
The outage reportedly impacted not just new tweets, but also retweets and replies. Users also reported not being able to access their direct messages.
Some users discovered a workaround by scheduling tweets one minute into the future, the Guardian noted.
Normal service resumed at nearly 11pm GMT.
Other problems persisted later than this however. For example Tweetdeck, the Twitter-owned service that allows users to view multiple columns of Twitter in browsers – remained down after midnight and into the early hours of Thursday morning.
It comes after The Information reported Musk had told Twitter staff to pause “new feature development” to maximise stability on the platform amid the outage.
The disruption came just hours after Twitter rolled out a new product to Twitter Blue subscribers that allows them to send tweets with up to 4,000 characters, The Guardian noted.
Twitter is also in the process of controversially ending its free access to the application programming interface (API) on 9 February.
Meanwhile Twitter’s compliance with European rules on tackling disinformation are in the spotlight, after the European Commission on Thursday criticised the platform’s efforts as falling short compared to its rivals.
Alphabet’s Google, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Twitter and TikTok have presented their baseline reports on their compliance with a beefed up European Union (EU) code of practice on disinformation in the last six months.
The reports included data on how much advertising revenue the companies had averted from disinformation actors, the number or value of political advertisements accepted or rejected, and instances of manipulative behaviours detected.
The European Commission last year linked the code to its new online content rules known as the Digital Services Act, which allows regulators to fine companies as much as 6 percent of their global turnover for breaches.
Commission VP for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová took aim at Elon Musk’s Twitter.
“The publication of the first reports of the revamped anti-disinformation Code is an important milestone in the fight against disinformation and I am pleased to see how most signatories, big and small, are engaging,” said Jourová.
“I’m glad to see for the first time reporting on the country-level, but more work is needed when it comes to providing access to data for researchers,” said Jourová. “We must have more transparency and cannot rely on the online platforms alone for the quality of information. They need to be independently verifiable.”
“I am disappointed to see that Twitter report lags behind others and I expect a more serious commitment to their obligations stemming from the Code,” Jourová noted. “Russia is engaged also in a full-blown disinformation war and the platforms need to live up to their responsibilities.”
The next reports are due in July 2023 and the EU expects all tech firms to improve their compliance.
The fact that Twitter is lagging behind its rivals should come as no surprise, considering Elon Musk has gutted Twitter’s workforce since taking control.
Musk laid off 50 percent of the 7,500 workforce, and then hundreds more staff quit after Musk demanded that the remaining staff commit to working “long hours at high intensity” or receive “three months of severance,” if they did not consent to these conditions.
Elon Musk also gutted Twitter’s external contractor teams, whose role was to ensure the platform was free of misinformation and hate – a move that has raised concern of a surge in hate speech on the platform.
But now a fresh round of job cuts could potentially reduce the company’s headcount to under 2,000.