Musk overhauls Twitter and makes the algorithm publicly available

Twitter owner Elon Musk is preparing to make a number of changes to Twitter in the coming days, including releasing the social media platform’s algorithm open source and overhauling the company’s verification process.

“The algorithm will be open source at 12 p.m. Pacific time,” Musk said on Twitter on Friday.

Mr. Musk’s desire to open Twitter’s algorithm to the public dates back to the acquisition of the social media company last October.

In May 2022 he has called on Twitter that the platform’s algorithm is manipulating people in ways they weren’t aware of. “Open source is the right way to solve both trust and efficiency,” he said.

Twitter, led by Mr Musk, then experimented with different ways to show content to its users, and in January decided to give people a choice to toggle between the For You and Following tabs.

The For You tab shows content recommended by Twitter for a user, while the Following tab is designed to showcase content from people a user follows in chronological order.

Mr Musk monitored changes to Twitter’s recommendations and said more will follow soon.

Earlier this week, he said “For You” recommendations would be limited to Twitter’s verified users starting April 15. He later clarified that content from accounts that users follow would also appear via recommendations from Twitter.

Twitter has also announced that its verifications will soon be applied more narrowly to paying users and that it will be available on June 1st.

The opening of Twitter’s recommendation algorithm to the public is intended to give tech-savvy users new insights into how the social media platform works.

Some source codes for Twitter are already publicly available. Twitter has a community notes tool that allows contributors to generate tags to apply to tweets with additional context, and Twitter has made the source code for the notes algorithm available on GitHub.

Critics complain that the publication of the source code for Twitter’s recommendation algorithm leads to problems. For example, the MIT Technology Review behaved fears in April 2022 that opening up the algorithm would allow competitors to copy the computer code.

Exactly what Mr. Musk plans to make public and when he decides to do so remains to be seen. He previously said on Twitter in February that he intended to open source the algorithm in the coming week, before saying more than a month later that he would open the computer code on Friday.

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