X, formerly known as Twitter, used to be a crucial tool for researchers and technology developers in their effort to take the pulse of society. Its open Application Programming Interface (API) used to provide vast amounts of data for analysis on various topics and fields, including disinformation spread. During February, X announced that it will stop supporting free access to the X API  launching paid tiers subscription that ranges from $100 (for 50,000 post requests and 10,000 read requests per app per month) to an outrageously expensive $42.000 per month for enterprise accounts. As it can be easily seen, the cost for collecting data from X is forcing researchers and developers to stop their projects  or try to find alternative data sources.
Restricted API Access Is Trending
The same restrictions imposed by X are also considered by other social media platforms. Reddit announced that it will start limiting third-party access to its API through additional terms and conditions. Adding to this list the well-known API restrictions and shutdowns rolled out by Facebook in 2018, research efforts, particularly in the realm of social media analysis and combating of disinformation, had significant issues such as limited ability to track the spread of information, monitor public sentiment, check the credibility of shared information and assess the authenticity of content. On top of these events, there are not that many options for collecting bulk data from social media platforms. Scraping data from a website without the use of an API may be considered as an option but it requires a lot of work and can be fraught with other risks, especially concerning its ethical part. Nowadays, it is very hard to discern if an open-source intelligent platform is scraping information in the public interest for any malicious purposes (e.g., phishing).
How FERMI Copes With Limited Access to APIs
 Jenae Barnes, “Twitter Ends Its Free API: Here’s Who Will Be Affected,” Forbes, February 6, 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenaebarnes/2023/02/03/twitter-ends-its-free-api-heres-who-will-be-affected/.
 Matt Novak, “Twitter Makes It Harder To Build Third Party Apps And Fun Bots In Latest Cash Grab,” Forbes, February 2, 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattnovak/2023/02/02/twitter-makes-it-harder-to-build-third-party-apps-and-fun-bots-in-latest-cash-grab/.
 “Creating a Healthy Ecosystem for Reddit Data and Reddit Data API Access,” Reddit, April 18, 2023, https://www.redditinc.com/blog/2023apiupdates.
 Sarah Perez, “Facebook rolls out more API restrictions and shutdowns,” TedCrunch+, July 2, 2018, https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/02/facebook-rolls-out-more-api-restrictions-and-shutdowns/.