Musk Opens Twitter Algorithm; Slams Others Who Won’t

Elon Musk on Saturday fired a shot across the bow at social media companies for not publicly releasing their algorithms that recommend content.

Responding to a tweet from venture capitalist David Sacks regarding the promise to make Twitter’s algorithm public, Musk said, “They know they cannot defend what their algorithm actually does, so they will keep it closed.”

On Friday, Twitter wrote in a blog post that the social media company’s recommendations algorithm, which controls the tweets users see on their timelines, has been made publicly available.

“On GitHub,” Twitter writes, “you’ll find two new repositories (main repoml repo) containing the source code for many parts of Twitter, including our recommendations algorithm, which controls the Tweets you see on the For You timeline. We’re also sharing more information on our recommendation algorithm in this post on our Engineering Blog.”

Musk’s tweet and promise to keep Twitter open and accountable fell soon after the revelations seen in the Twitter Files — first released in December.

In August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Joe Rogan that the FBI approached him warning that the Hunter Biden laptop story, which was censored shortly before the 2020 presidential election, was “Russian propaganda.”

The Facebook founder said, “Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think, basically came to us — some folks on our team — and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert … We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.”

As seen in the Twitter Files, the FBI was in constant contact with social media companies to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story. According to the New York Post, which first reported the story, the FBI was aware of the laptop’s contents after seizing it from a computer repair shop owner in December 2019 — nearly a year before the 2020 election.

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