Twitter reveals code that shows why tweets appear – DW – 04/01/2023

Twitter created parts of its source code, including its recommendation algorithmpublic.

The social media company uploaded the code into two repositories on the code-sharing platform GitHub.

Twitter owner Elon Musk confirmed the move on Saturday, promising to publish more of the code in the coming weeks.

“In the coming weeks, we will open source literally everything that helps display a tweet,”[ads1]; Musk wrote on Twitter.

Why it matters

The recommendation algorithm source code explains why tweets appear on a user’s “For You” timeline.

Making it public raises common concerns among users and lawmakers, who are increasingly scrutinizing social media platforms over how algorithms choose the content users see.

“Providing code transparency will be incredibly embarrassing at first, but should lead to rapid improvement in recommendation quality,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

He said the company will regularly update the algorithm based on user feedback.

During a discussion about the source code of Spaces, Twitter’s audio chat feature, some users questioned why Twitter’s code appeared to classify users as Republicans or Democrats.

Musk said that shouldn’t happen and that the company would remove it.

Source code leaked earlier

Twitter’s decision to publish the source code came after parts of it were already leaked on Github earlier this year.

Musk sought information about the person responsible for the leak.

The US District Court for the Northern District of California ordered Github earlier this week to reveal the identity of the user who posted it.

lo/jcg (dpa, Reuters)

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