Twitter’s apps are breaking following Elon Musk’s decision to cap tweet rates

Over the last few days, Twitter not only stopped showing tweets unless you’re logged in, but also started capping the number of tweets users can ready each (“rate limiting”) — ostensibly due to “data scraping,” according to Elon Musk. Those actions are starting to have an impact elsewhere across Twitter’s ecosystem, with many users reporting that Tweetdeck (a power-user version of Twitter) no longer works. In addition, Google Search is reportedly showing up to 50 percent fewer Twitter URLs due to the logged-in requirement, Search Engine Roundtable reported. 

For a lot of users (including Engadget), Tweetdeck effectively stopped functioning, just showing a spinning wheel above most columns. That may be because a bug in Twitter’s web app is sending requests in an infinite loop, effectively creating a “self-DDOS” (distributed denial of service), Waxy reported. As researcher Molly White tweeted, that effect is multiplied in Tweetdeck for anything other than the “Home” column, as it keeps “repeatedly retrying 404s,” she wrote. 

It’s possible to at least get your columns to show up by using a new beta version of Tweetdeck, as Engadget’s Matt Brian tweeted. However, those columns are still subject to the rate limits (800 tweets for non-Twitter Blue subscribers), and so most users will stop seeing new tweets shortly after Tweetdeck loads.

On top of that, Google Search may be showing up to 50 percent fewer Twitter URLs following Musk’s move to block unregistered users. Using the site command, Search Engine Roundtable‘s Barry Schwartz found that Google now has about 52 percent fewer Twitter URLs in its index than it did on Friday. It’s still showing recent tweets in the Search carousel, but normal indexing seems to be broken at the moment. “Not that a site command is the best measure, but… Twitter is down [around] 162 million indexed pages so far since this change,” Schwartz tweeted

There’s no confirmation that the “self-DDOS” theory is accurate, but a post from developer Sheldon Chang (on Mastodon) indicated that shutting off anonymous access to Twitter may be playing a role in the issues. Twitter has promised that the login requirement and rate limiting are “temporary,” but has yet to give a date for eliminating those restrictions. 

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