Elon Musk’s X Corp., Twitter’s parent company, has filed a lawsuit against four individuals or entities based in Dallas accused of unlawfully scraping data from Twitter.

The unknown entities—referred to by their IP addresses or John Does 1-4 in the lawsuit—were engaged in an unauthorized harvest of Twitter users’ data from the site and app.

Although the persons or entities associated with the scraping are unknown, the lawsuit says X Corp. has identified their IP addresses.

Recently, Twitter was forced to enact rate limits, which is a limit to the amount of posts an individual can read on Twitter. Verified accounts are allotted 6,000 posts per day, unverified accounts 600 posts, and new unverified accounts 300 posts.

This caused mass backlash and criticism from users. It also gave Mark Zuckerberg a jumpstart in his launch of the Twitter-reminiscent “Threads” app, which Twitter is threatening to sue.

The reason Twitter was forced to utilize rate limits in the first place was because of the data scraping, Musk clarified on Twitter.

The lawsuit supports his claims.

“Among other measures, in response to massive demands on X Corp.’s servers from extremely aggressive data-scrapers, X Corp. has instituted limits on how many Tweets each user could view in a given day. X Corp. has also limited access to Tweets for users who are not signed in to a registered Twitter account,” the lawsuit alleges.

X Corp. said its reasoning for filing the suit in Dallas County was because the perpetrators allegedly “committed acts … with entities that maintain data processing facilities in Dallas County, Texas … including, on information and belief, unlawfully scraping data associated with Texas residents.”

“A substantial part of the events or activities giving rise to X Corp.’s claims therefore occurred in or are connected with Texas,” the lawsuit continues.

In the lawsuit, X Corp. says it has made serious efforts with Twitter to “improve the user experience and safeguard its data from unauthorized access” through employing “several measures to detect and disrupt entities from scraping its data.”

However, despite their efforts, the alleged perpetrators succeeded in “unlawfully scraping Twitter user data.”

“Defendants’ conduct has damaged X Corp., including but not limited to hampering the user experience for authentic Twitter users and customers, in addition to the time and money spent investigating and mitigating Defendants’ unlawful conduct,” reads the lawsuit.

X Corp. is seeking $1,000,000 in damages from the four John Does due to their “unlawful activities.” Musk’s company is also seeking “an accounting and disgorgement of Defendants’ profits in an amount to be determined at trial.”

The full lawsuit—X Corp vs. John Does 1-4, in the district court of Dallas County—can be read here.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.


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