Elon Musk Bans Crawling and Scraping in X’s Updated Terms

X has once again updated its privacy policy and this time it’s about crawling and scraping. The company has banned scraping and crawling on its data most probably to stop any companies or third-party bots from accessing the data to train their AI models. The updated terms say that without any prior or mutual consent, the scraping and crawling of data is completely prohibited.

NOTE: Crawling or scraping the Services in any form, for any purpose without our prior written consent is expressly prohibited”

The updated terms will be applicable from September 29, 2023, to prevent third parties from collecting unauthorized data of the users without consent. The change in X’s terms under the Misuse of the Services clause was reported by Alex Ivanovs via Stackdiary.

Earlier, the terms partially allowed crawling while scraping without consent was still banned. The previous terms said, “NOTE: crawling the Services is permissible if done in accordance with the provisions of the robots.txt file, however, scraping the Services without our prior consent is expressly prohibited.”

The company has also updated its instructional file robots.txt to prevent web crawlers from accessing information from the platform. This information which will go inaccessible includes user likes and retweets on the posts and any individual account’s likes, retweets, and media including photos and videos.

Elon Musk has always been vocal about disliking that big companies keep scraping X’s data to train their AI models. In July, Elon Musk even filed lawsuits against multiple companies for scraping purposes. He even threatened the leading tech giant Microsoft to sue them for illegally using the platform’s data for AI training purposes.

Recently, X’s made another change in its policy terms by mentioning it may use public data for training AI models and machine learning purposes. These terms state that X will use only the publicly available data of the users for AI model training while also collecting the biometric data and education and job history of the users.

Both these updated terms suggest that X is on a spree to ban any company, big or small from using its data without consent to train their AI models. The public data will only be used by the company itself to better its services or by Elon Musk’s AI company xAI to train its AI models.