Monday, July 3, 2023

Twitter Now Requires Logging In

Jess Weatherbed:

If you currently try to access Twitter without logging in to your user account, you’ll be unable to see any of the content that was previously available to the wider public. Instead, you’ll meet a Twitter window that asks you to either sign in to the platform or create a new account, effectively blocking you from viewing tweets and user profiles or browsing through threads unless you’re a registered Twitter user.


Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted, claiming in a reply that the change is a “Temporary emergency measure,” blaming “data pillaging” for degrading the service for all users.

Amanda Silberling (Hacker News):

Like many of Twitter’s recent changes, this could easily backfire. If tweets aren’t publicly accessible, search engine algorithms could rank the site’s content lower, meaning that fewer people would be directed to the site from Google. Also, it’s just kind of annoying.

It also breaks Nitter, which is what I was using to get RSS feeds, since I don’t want to use the official client or Web site. I may check now and then to see if there’s anything interesting at the top of my timeline, but it’s no longer practical for me to be a completionist.

Ivan Mehta:

Over the weekend, Elon Musk limited the number of tweets users can read in a day, which he said was to prevent data scraping. While this measure has affected all Twitter users, TweetDeck users in particular are today reporting major problems, including notifications and entire columns failing to load.

Musk initially enforced read-limits of 6,000 daily posts for verified users and 600 daily posts for unverified users. Hours later, he increased these limits to 10,000 tweets and 1,000 tweets, respectively. Given that TweetDeck loads up multiple tweets through various columns simultaneously, it’s likely that the effects of the read restrictions are amplified within TweetDeck.

John Gruber:

The bigger, more fundamental change Musk instituted over the weekend is making it such that tweets aren’t visible unless you’re logged in to a Twitter account. This broke all sorts of things. Messaging apps (like Apple’s Messages) can no longer render preview cards for tweets, for one thing. Closer to home, it broke the @daringfireball auto-posting account. More amusingly, as documented by Sheldon Chang, this change completely broke Twitter itself — some part of the Rube Goldberg-ian machine that assembles users’ timeline feeds was itself subjected to these rate limits, so Twitter wound up DDOSing itself. It’s like a gasoline company instituting rations that stranded its own fleet of tanker trucks.


Now it’s a walled garden, like most of Facebook, available only to logged-in users. I suspect this change will prevent the Internet Archive from caching tweets, too. That just sucks.


Update (2023-07-06): Craig Hockenberry:

Take a moment and sign out of Twitter. I had no idea what was really going on until I did that (browser cookies from Twitter 1.0 were still around).

Now I see that 17 years of content I’ve generated has vanished from the public Internet.

Christopher Mackay:

People who spent years building websites that regularly linked-out to Twitter — now full of effectively dead links.

Update (2023-07-13): Stefan Labbé (via Hacker News):

A B.C. government Twitter account updating residents about driving conditions reached its tweet limit on a weekend it was sharing information about wildfire evacuations.


“It's kind of the end of public alerting through social media,” said Ryan Reynolds, an emergency preparedness consultant with Resilience Mapping Canada.

“These limits basically mean that we can't distribute that information quickly and easily at any scale.”

14 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Twitter Now Requires Logging In is a deal breaker. Besides Twitter interface is anti-intuitive, now showing messages in chronological order.

@MeX Do you mean “not” rather than “now”?

It's a fascinating time on the web. Earlier evolutions have been about moving towards something new and better, this time it's just the Giants growing old and perverted.

Hopefully we'll all go back to blogging and RSS feeds.

I have to give it to him. By driving people off his platform with such brutal efficiency, Musk has already done more for mental health than most other people in human history. And it is just kind of nice to see that, after all of the consolidation that happened in the last twenty years, these terrible companies are now finally starting to implode.

for what it's worth, it isn't the login redirection that broke nitter; in the day or so between the start of forced login and the introduction of rate limiting, the nitter instances i use were working just fine

@colons What is your explanation? I don’t see how Nitter could work without logging in. I think what I read is that the login requirement was added to different regions at different times, and that’s why some Nitter instances kept working for a while.

i am not sure, and please don't take this as fact; im just speculating here based on what i know. i have decent familiarity with how single-page web apps work, and i understand that some browser extensions that made the site simpler were also able to continue to work in this time

as a guess, i expect they only implemented the redirection at the URLs you see in your browser's address bar; the private APIs they use to actually fill out those pages after the initial load were, presumably, still working. the basic html returned when visiting a tweet or profile URL contains no content, only scripts and boilerplate that soon gets replaced in javascript

nitter has no reason to even bother to load the content-free html templates if it's only interested in content, so a redirect implemented only at these URLs would have no effect

I meant, NOT showing messages in chronological order. It would be great if messages here could be edited.

Nitter seems to be starting to work again.

Old Unix Geek

@Michael Tsai: not for me... tried,,

What are you using?

Old Unix Geek

Thanks Michael Tsai. No luck so far. Perhaps they're intermittently testing a fix...

@Michael Tsai

Yes, I meant, NOT showing messages in chronological order. Sorry for the typo.

I posted it also above (I did not see yours before). BTW, it would be great if messages here could be edited in this forum.

An update: as predicted by others, Twitter has downweighted themselves in Google search due to the recent changes ( which is catastrophic for traffic to the site.

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