Social Media

Elon Musk claims Twitter login requirement just 'temporary'

Twitter is currently blocking visitors from viewing tweets and profiles unless they are logged in.
By Matt Binder  on 
Elon Musk
The unpopular change to Twitter that requires users to login to view content is just "temporary" according to Elon Musk. Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

It's just a "temporary emergency measure."

That's what Twitter owner Elon Musk said on Friday after the platform's users noticed that tweets and profiles were inaccessible via web browsers on both desktop and mobile devices unless they were logged in to an account. The change basically blocked all Twitter content from unregistered visitors and was not well-received by even its registered users.

"Temporary emergency measure," tweeted(opens in a new tab) Musk in a reply to a user posting about the login requirement. "We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!"

It's unclear exactly what Musk is referring to, but he's likely talking about web scrapers that pull data from websites without requiring any official API to do so. (After all, Twitter's API is now severely limited and costs a minimum of $42,000 per month for most use cases.)

Aqueel Miqdad, a software engineer that works at Twitter, also added an update on the situation moments before Musk.

"This is a temporary restriction," tweeted(opens in a new tab) Miqdad. "We will re-enable logged out twitter access in the near future."

As Mashable reported earlier today, many Twitter users noticed on Friday that the platform was blocking access to Twitter's content unless a user was logged in. As Zoe Schiffer of Platformer pointed out, the change from Twitter was unexpected.

"Musk's first project after taking over was redirecting the Twitter homepage to Explore rather than the sign up screen," Schiffer said(opens in a new tab), explaining how this move to lock content behind a login was counterproductive to Musk's previous decision to drive visitors to a page full of trending content.

At the time, it appeared to be a measure to block AI companies from scraping data in order to train its language models. It also seemed like a maneuver to push visitors into registering an account in order to grow Twitter's monthly active user base. As Mashable previously noted, in 2015, Twitter shared that "500 million people" visited the platform on a monthly basis without logging into an account.

Whether the decision to force visitors to login to a Twitter account is actually temporary remains to be seen. Neither Musk or Miqdad shared any timeline for once again enabling Twitter access for visitors without the login requirement.

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