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Fox Business
Fox Business
1 Jul 2023


Elon Musk assured Twitter users Friday that a requirement to have an account to view tweets was a "temporary emergency measure." 

Users who try to view content on the social media platform are asked to sign up for an account or to log into an existing account.

"We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!" the billionaire wrote. 

The cause of the change is hundreds of organizations that were scraping Twitter data "extremely aggressively," impacting user experience.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla, during the EEI 2023 event in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.  (Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"We absolutely will take legal action against those who stole our data & look forward seeing them in court, which is (optimistically) 2 to 3 years from now," Musk pledged. 

Artificial intelligence companies are to blame, the SpaceX founder asserted in a reply to one user. 

"Almost every company doing AI, from startups to some of the biggest corporations on Earth, was scraping vast amounts of data. It is rather galling to have to bring large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis just to facilitate some AI startup’s outrageous valuation," he said. 

And, Musk named names.

Sam Altman

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks during a meeting, at the Station F in Paris on May 26, 2023.  (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Sam Altman was trying to suck us dry," he added. Altman is the CEO of OpenAI, the company that created chatbot ChatGPT. Musk, a co-founder, previously alleged that he was the reason OpenAI exists.

The Tesla co-founder also forecast that any social media companies that allow unauthenticated access would become "bot-strewn hellscapes as soon as they become relevant."

Previously, Musk said that Microsoft – which is investing in OpenAI – "trained illegally using Twitter data."

Elon Musk

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla, during the EEI 2023 event in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Lawsuit time," he tweeted in April, also writing that "ripping off the Twitter database, demonetizing it (removing ads) and then selling our data to others isn’t a winning solution."

In a May letter addressed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Musk's lawyer Alex Spiro asked the tech giant to conduct an audit of its use of Twitter's content, alleging the Windows developer violated an agreement over using the social media company's data.

OpenAI has recently faced legal action over its use of data to train its AI systems. 

The California company did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.