Twitter Sues Four Texas Firms For Data Scraping

twitter, social media

Lawsuit filed against four unnamed entities in Texas after Elon Musk railed last week against data scraping and limited user views

Twitter has taken legal action against four entities in Texas it alleges were engaged in large-scale data scraping against it.

Reuters reported that Twitter had filed a lawsuit against four unnamed entities in Texas for data scraping last week.

It comes after Elon Musk imposed daily limits on the number of tweets a user could read, and required users to sign into the service or create an account before being allowed to view messages.


Data scraping

The service also imposed a temporary limit on the number of tweets users could view, with unverified users limited to 1,000 tweets a day.

Paying verified users could view 10,000 tweets a day.

Musk said at the time that the limits were put in place to address “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation”.

Musk said the move was a “temporary emergency measure” as he tried to stop third-party bots from scraping data from Twitter.

“We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!” he wrote in a tweet.

Musk has previously criticised AI companies such as OpenAI for downloading huge amounts of data from Twitter and other social media platforms for use in training their language models, a sentiment echoed by Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman.

The daily limits imposed by Musk sparked widespread criticism and may have assisted the launch of Meta’s Threads, which crossed 100 million signups in a record five days.

Twitter allegations

Now according to Reuters, X Corp (the owner of Twitter), has alleged in its lawsuit that the entities indulged in “unlawfully scraping data” and seek monetary relief of more than $1 million.

Musk, meanwhile, reiterated the reason for data limits in a reply to a tweet that referenced the data-scraping lawsuit.

“Several entities tried to scrape every tweet ever made in a short period of time. That is why we had to put rate limits in place,” Musk tweeted.

The lawsuit alleged that the the volume of automated signup requests from the four defendants’ IP addresses far exceeded what any single person could send to a person, which severely taxed Twitter’s servers.