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X Slammed After Blocking Japan's Natural Disaster Account For Posting Too Much During Earthquake

Elon Musk's X, formerly Twitter, rate-limited the natural disaster alert program NERV's alerts during the deadly earthquake in Japan, eventually fixing the issue hours later.

Elon Musk
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The New York Times

People on social media were outraged after X, formerly Twitter, blocked an account that provided natural disaster alerts in Japan for posting too much during the earthquake that left at least 55 dead.

The account, run by natural disaster alert program NERV, informed followers that it had been rate-limited "due to the frequent posting" following the 7.6 magnitude quake and urged them to download the NERV Disaster Prevention app amid the crisis.

After posting several updates, NERV tweeted:

“Our accounts appear to have been rate-limited due to the frequent posting of information updates regarding the Ishikawa Earthquake and Tsunami."
“We highly recommend that you download the NERV Disaster Prevention app in order to keep receiving updates.”

Given the pertinent and urgent information provided by the account, users called out owner Elon Musk for continuously making changes to rules and regulations on the platform, including the amount of tweets an account can post.

While some argued that Musk's $8/month verification fee would have solved the issue...

... others noted that it's not that simple.

First of all, the company's Japanese language account does yield a blue checkmark, signifying that they do, in fact, pay the monthly fee.

However, posting through the company's API actually costs a minimum of $100 per month, which they already do pay. According to one X user, in order to mass-post without restrictions, NERV would have to pay $5000 each month.

Needless to say, the Twitterverse was infuriated that people in danger were unable to receive potentially life-saving information.

Given the heavy backlash, as well as endless tags by upset platform users, the restrictions were eventually lifted.

NERV tweeted:

“Thanks to everyone’s concern, X reached out to us to urgently complete the process of registering both @UN_NERV and @EN_NERV as ‘Public Utility’ accounts, resolving the issue of API rate-limiting."
“We are able to confirm that automatic posting of tweets has resumed as of 21:00.”

We'd like to think that the CEO would learn a lesson or two from this,'s Elon.

While we're glad the information became available once again, it's unfortunate that in such an emergency, greed prevented people from getting updates that could have potentially saved lives.