Elon Musk’s objective to eliminate bots on Twitter has taken an unexpected turn. As a result of Twitter’s removal of API access, many public service Twitter accounts have lost their capacity to instantly post breaking news and events. While Musk’s objective of eliminating bots is logical, recent events indicate that his goals may not be as clear as they appear.
The affected Twitter accounts, such as the National Weather Service accounts and official public transit accounts like MTA and BART, are not hands-off bot accounts that people typically associate with the term “bot.” These accounts provide consistent updates, both automated and manually posted by humans. They are critical to public safety, providing up-to-the-minute information that can save lives.
The removal of API access has also affected automated accounts that provide entertainment and helpful content, such as @RabbitEveryHour and @SteamStatus. Some of these accounts may run off of Twitter’s new basic $100 per month API plan, but this plan has limited access and may not provide what these services require. Twitter’s new API tiers start at a staggering $42,000 monthly, out of reach for many developers and indie businesses.
While Twitter has maintained that its new API plans aim to eliminate bots, many developers have criticized the company for not offering lower-priced tiers between the $100 and $42,000 range. Twitter’s lack of transparency and warning regarding removing API access has also left many developers frustrated and unable to serve their customers.
It is unclear why Elon Musk and Twitter want to eliminate most of the Twitter third-party ecosystem. While the goal to eliminate bots may seem reasonable, the latest developments suggest other motives may be at play. The removal of API access for critical public service and entertainment accounts raises questions about the impact of these changes on public safety and the Twitter community.
Elon Musk’s objective to eliminate bots on Twitter has resulted in unexpected consequences, as numerous public service Twitter accounts and automated entertainment accounts have lost their API access. Twitter’s lack of transparency and warning has left many developers frustrated and unable to serve their customers. The impact of these changes on public safety and the Twitter community remains unclear, raising questions about the motives behind these actions.