Twitter Sues Texas Entities for Data Scraping as Musk Justifies Rate Limits

Twitter has filed a lawsuit against four unnamed entities in Texas for data scraping, a local TV station said on Wednesday, explaining why the Elon Musk-owned social network had recently placed daily limits on the number of tweets a user could read.

WFAA, an ABC-affiliated TV station, reported that the volume of automated sign-up requests from the four defendants’ IP addresses far exceeded what any single person could send to a person, which severely taxed Twitter’s servers.

It said the lawsuit was filed on July 6 in the District Court of Dallas County in Texas.

Reuters could not immediately verify if a lawsuit had been filed. Twitter did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment outside regular business hours.

Musk has blamed data scraping for limiting, since early July, how many tweets different tiers of accounts could read each day, a move that sparked widespread criticism.

He reiterated that reasoning on Thursday in 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.

However, he did not confirm or deny that a lawsuit had been filed.

Musk’s move to place the readership cap came days before Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Platforms launched a direct challenge to Twitter with its Threads app.

Threads has since raced to cross 100 million sign-ups within five days of launch.

Twitter has threatened to sue Meta, accusing it of hiring former employees who had access to trade secrets and other confidential information.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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