Elon Musk has announced that Twitter is temporarily limiting the number of tweets people can read in a day, as thousands of users reported problems accessing the site.
Musk, who took over Twitter in October after buying it for $44bn US (£35.5bn), announced on Saturday that verified accounts are being limited to reading 6,000 posts a day.
Unverified accounts can only read 600 posts a day, with new unverified accounts limited to just 300 per day, he said.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said Twitter had imposed the “temporary limit” to “address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation”.
In the UK, a peak of 5,126 people complained of problems accessing the site at 4.12pm on Saturday, according to the website Downdetector – which tracks online outages.
In the US, some 7,461 people complained of issues as of 4.15pm UK time, the site notes.
Twitterdown and RIP Twitter began trending as frustrated users were faced with a message saying “Rate limit exceeded. Please wait a few moments then try again”.
After taking over Twitter, Musk laid off some 80% of its 8,000 global staff – and admitted it resulted in the platform losing a large amount of its functionality.
He also oversaw the scrapping of legacy “blue ticks”, which verified a user’s identity and were replaced by a paid-for subscription called Twitter Blue.
High-profile figures and celebrities said the move leaves the platform open to imposters and disinformation.
Users who pay £9.60 a month, or £115.20 annually, receive the blue tick and can make longer tweets up to 10,000 characters.
Other select features available only to subscribers include non-fungible token (NFT) profile pictures, making changes to published tweets and seeing around 50% fewer ads.
Twitter has said that the service “elevates quality conversations”.
Entrepreneur Musk, prior to buying the platform, revealed plans to turn it into “X, the everything app”.
In December, just weeks after the takeover, Musk tweeted: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job.”
The pledge came after millions of Twitter users asked him to step down in a poll Mr Musk created and promised to abide by.
In May, Musk confirmed that advertising executive Linda Yaccarino, formerly of NBCUniversal, was replacing him as Twitter’s chief executive.