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Since acquiring Twitter, Elon Musk maintained that one of his major objectives was to eliminate the bots.Last night, Twitter did just that. One problem, though: The bots blocked are the good ones.Numerous public service Twitter accounts have lost their ability to automatically post breaking news and events. Twitter has been removing API access, which allows many of these accounts to post in an authorized way by the platform, as it switches to Musk’s new high-priced paid API system.Many of these affected Twitter accounts have automated updates, but aren’t the type of hands-off bot accounts that some may think of when they hear the term “bot.” For example, numerous National Weather Service accounts that provide consistent updates, both automated and manually posted by humans, shared that they could no longer provide their up-to-the-minute, potentially life-saving updates. Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) “Twitter is now limiting automated tweets and as a result this account can no longer auto post warnings as we have done so in the past,” tweeted the National Weather Service (NWS) Wilmington, OH account this morning. “We will continue to provide general updates, but always ensure that you have multiple means for receiving weather information & alerts.” Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) “@Twitter is now limiting automated tweets and as a result, this account can no longer post all #Tsunami Warnings, Advisories, Watches, and Information Statements as they are issued,” tweeted the NWS Tsunami Alerts account. “We will make every effort to continue manual posts.” Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Other important services like the official account for the MTA, which runs New York City’s public transit, and BART, which services San Francisco, shared similar issues with their access to Twitter’s API. Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Automated accounts, like @RabbitEveryHour and @SteamStatus, while not essential to public safety, also announced that they would no longer be able to post their entertaining or helpful content due to losing Twitter API access. Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Some of these accounts could potentially run off of Twitter’s new basic $100 per month API plan. However, this plan has very limited access and may not provide what some of these services require, especially when considering they use to be able to get everything they needed to basically provide Twitter with more content for free. After the $100 plan, Twitter’s new API tiers start at a whopping $42,000 per month.Many indie developers were affected by these changes over the past few weeks. Some have had to close their Twitter-based apps due to the starting price for Enterprise API access being priced at $42,000 per month. Even services that wanted to pay, lost the ability to serve their customers as Twitter removed their API access without providing them any warning.When Twitter introduced its new API plans, the company maintained it was to go after the bots. However, according to many developers, Twitter has refused to offer any lower-priced tiers somewhere between the $100 and $42,000 range. It appears that Musk’s Twitter would like to broadly eliminate the vast majority of the Twitter third-party ecosystem.But, why? That’s still unclear.


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