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New Delhi, July 01 – Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney on Saturday threw some suggestions to Elon Musk after Twitter account-walled its platform, stressing that web browsing feels horrible now.
Twitter stopped browsing access on its web platform for people without accounts, and they have to first create an account to view tweets.
“The internet feels increasingly broken. News sites are paywalled or account walled, Reddit is nag walled, Google search spams ads and SEO to the point of uselessness, and now Twitter is account walled. Web browsing feels horrible now,” Sweeney posted.
Musk replied: “Several hundred organisations (maybe more) were scraping Twitter data extremely aggressively, to the point where it was affecting the real user experience. What should we do to stop that? I’m open to ideas.”
To which, Sweeney suggested that Twitter should thwart scraping patterns with “infosec engineering, forbid bad forms of scraping in terms of service, add a volume based liquidated damages clause, prominently litigate against large scale commercial abuse”.
According to Musk, scraping is already disallowed by Twitter terms and conditions and the scraping organisations mask their IPs through proxy servers or through organisations that appear legit.
“For example, a recent massive scraping operation originating from Oracle IP addresses was just using their servers as a laundromat,” said Musk.
Sweeney said that it is a cat-and-mouse game of rate-limiting or blocking the cloud hosts and VPN IP ranges, “sending them a stream of cease & desists, and litigating against the AI companies employing the shady scraping sub-contractors”. “There’s no winning, just a growing mouse stack,” he argued.