Elon Musk hits back at media reports claiming his Tweets were boosted
Tesla and Twitter chief, Elon Musk, has hit back at last week's media reports claiming his Tweets were boosted.
Several major media sources incorrectly reported that my Tweets were boosted above normal levels earlier this week.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2023
A review of my Tweet likes & views over the past 6 months, especially as a ratio of followers, shows this to be false.
We did have a bug that briefly caused… https://t.co/nM3SgUfoM7
Earlier this week, Interesting Engineering reported that Twitter was showing everybody just Elon Musk's tweets.
While reports suggested that it was changes to the Twitter algorithm that caused the issue, Musk has now blamed it on a bug and hit back at media reports.
Is Musk competing with the US President?
According to the information gathered by the tech news site Platformer from people who were familiar with the events, James Musk, Elon's cousin, and a Twitter employee sent out an urgent request on company Slack in the early hours of Monday morning to debug an issue regarding engagement.
The issue, as it later became clear was that Elon Musk's tweets about the Super Bowl on Sunday received fewer views than those from President Joe Biden, who has nearly 91 million lesser followers than Musk.
Twitter engineers, or what is left of them, after Musk's cost-cutting measures, attended to the request and tweaked the social media sites algorithm so that it boosted Musk's tweets by a factor of 1,000, Platformer reported.
This ensured that the tweets ranked higher than anyone else's in the feed, and the result was Musk and his replies on top of everything else in everybody's For you feed.
This claim was also verified by an Australian researcher who tapped into Twitter's API data to find that Musk's tweet impressions were boosted by a whopping 737 percent and daily impressions had also tripled, The Guardian said in another report. Interestingly, such analysis may not be possible, since Elon Musk-led Twitter is making its API paid putting it out of reach for many.
Musk hits back
The tech billionaire though has challenged the "false" information in a new tweet, blaming it on a bug that boosted his tweets and replies on the social media platform.
"Several major media sources incorrectly reported that my Tweets were boosted above normal levels earlier this week," he wrote. "A review of my Tweet likes & views over the past 6 months, especially as a ratio of followers, shows this to be false."
For example, despite having ~40M fewer followers back then, I have yet to come anywhere close to this gem pic.twitter.com/bXVRqNQZhT— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2023
He further added that "a bug briefly caused replies to have the same prominence as primary Tweets, but that has now been fixed."
Even if it were a bug, it does not explain why only Elon Musk's tweets were seen the world over and not of a random Twitter user. Or are bugs loyal to company owners these days?
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