Elon Musk to spill Twitter’s closely-guarded code secrets on March 31

This was one of the promises Musk made on Twitter if he bought the social media business last year. 
Baba Tamim
Portrait of Elon Musk.
Portrait of Elon Musk.

Wikipedia Commons/ The Royal Society 

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, has declared that in the upcoming weeks, he will disclose the algorithms employed by the social media platform to suggest content.

The tech billionaire's decision to make the algorithms public is rare because social media companies keep algorithms a closely-guarded trade secret.

"Twitter will open source all code used to recommend tweets on March 31st," Musk tweeted on Saturday. 

"Our 'algorithm' is overly complex & not fully understood internally. People will discover many silly things, but we'll patch issues as soon as they're found!" he added in the thread of tweets. 

It's still a work in progress, but we're building a "simplified approach" to serve more compelling tweets. "That'll also be open source." he further said. 

Giving access to the source code will at first be extremely embarrassing, but it should quickly increase the quality of the recommendations, according to Musk. 

"Most importantly, we hope to earn your trust," he said. 

The promise 

Social media algorithms can link users to other users they may know, groups, artists, events, or postings that may be of interest, as well as other relevant content that is customized for them.

However, critics caution that these algorithms might potentially be used to favor some ideologies or points of view at the expense of others.

After buying Twitter in 2022, Musk has made more headlines than before. 

He most recently spilled several documents, called the Twitter Files public, trickling the secrets of Twitter's previous management.

These records have revealed, among other things, that Twitter worked with the federal government and FBI to bury particular topics or viewpoints.

Nevertheless, open-sourcing Twitter's algorithm was one of the promises Musk made on Twitter if he bought the social media business last year. 

In October, the parties reached an agreement to sell at Musk's suggested $44 billion price, bringing the long acquisition story to an end.

"Say what you want about me, but I acquired the world's largest non-profit for $44B lol," sarcastic Musk joked in February.  

Meanwhile, Musk's decision to release Twitter's recommendation algorithm follows a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee investigation into the issue led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

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