Threads app announces its own ‘rate limits’ as spam bots have now found the app – Twitter appears to be far from alone in resorting to rate restrictions — or caps on how many posts users may view. In a humorous twist, Twitter’s newest competitor, Instagram Threads, stated this afternoon that it, too, must tighten rate limits owing to spam attacks. “Lmaooo Copy [cat],” tweeted Twitter owner Elon Musk in response to a screenshot of the announcement.
As you may recall, Twitter had to impose new limits on how many tweets users could view earlier this month due to a protracted outage. According to Musk, Twitter was facing “extreme levels of data scraping” from hundreds of organizations, as well as other “system manipulation.” As a result, Twitter elected to address the issue by initially enabling Verified users (paying subscribers) to access up to 6,000 posts each day, while unverified users could only view 600. Following customer reaction, Musk raised the limitations to 10,000 for verified accounts, 1,000 for unverified ones, and 500 for new, unverified accounts.
Musk announced over the weekend that he would boost the rate limit for Verified users by 50%, implying that they would now be allowed to access 15,000 posts daily.
Twitter was chastised for its unconventional approach to the spam and bot problem, which some claimed would not have been an issue if Twitter hadn’t cut off such a huge proportion of its engineering team. After all, being unable to scroll through the Twitter timeline for extended periods of time had never been a concern prior to Elon (save, of course, in the early years when the fail whale was a common occurrence).
In a message on the Threads app this afternoon, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri detailed the issue, saying, “Spam attacks have picked up so we’re going to have to get tighter on things like rate limits, which is going to mean more unintentionally limiting active people (false positives). If you get caught up [in] those protections let us know.”
In other words, the most frequent Threads users may be restricted from using the program and viewing posts. Unlike Twitter’s hard limits on viewable posts, Mosseri advises users to contact him if they encounter this issue. That indicates that the Threads team is willing to collaborate with real users in order to avoid negatively impacting their experience.
Several users have commented in reaction to Mosseri’s revelation that comments spam on the site has gotten substantially worse in recent days, with one person claiming that 50% of their posts were receiving responses from bots, such as gambling-related bots or “bait” remarks. Another complained that they spent half their time blocking bots that promoted gambling and cryptocurrency sites. Threads will be in the same boat as Twitter until bots and spam are controlled.