Elon Musk responds to criticism of shuttering free Twitter API access by offering free, write-only access to 'bots providing good content that is free'
The turbulent seas of Twitter show no signs of calming since the tempestuous Elon Musk took over. Having caused confusion and irritation by blocking third-party clients, Twitter then announced that free access to its API will end this week, with the effect of killing off large numbers of bots, services and tools -- including Mastodon migraters' favorite Movetodon.
Ending free access to the Twitter API has, understandably, not gone down well, with developers being highly and vocally critical of the move. Now, having listened to feedback, Musk says that "Twitter will enable a light, write-only API for bots providing good content that is free".
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Musk has previously knocked the idea of free API access, complaining that it is open to abuse. Many saw the decision to end free access, however, as nothing more than another money-making scheme for Twitter much like the paid-for verification option that Twitter Blue became.
Having (apparently) joked that that the likes of the @PepitoTheCat account could be given API access, Musk elaborated on potential plans this week. He tweeted that "Twitter will enable a light, write-only API for bots providing good content that is free":
This is, of course, not set in stone, and it is not clear how it would be decided what qualifies as "good content". But in acting as a gatekeeper to its API, Twitter runs the risk of becoming a social platform that can be abused and manipulated by those willing and able to pay, while the average user is left trying to determine whether a bot, account or tweet is visible because it is deemed "good" and worthy, or because it has been paid for in one way or another.
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