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Twitter | Elon Musk promises a more transparent algorithm

(San Francisco) Elon Musk announced Friday that his Twitter platform will publish the algorithm used to recommend tweets to each user, a transparent approach he has long championed without putting into practice.

“On March 31, Twitter will announce all computer code used to recommend tweets,” said the unpredictable owner and head of the social network.

He added, “People will discover a lot of silly things, but we’ll fix the problems as soon as we find them.”

Opening up the service’s black box was part of his stated motivations for buying Twitter last year, as well as the company’s “potential” and advocating a more absolutist vision of free speech.

But his first four months at the helm of the network were marked above all by waves of massive and sudden layoffs, the flight of several advertisers, the chaotic launch of a paid subscription, and technical glitches.

The billionaire explained that Twitter’s recommendation algorithms are complex and not well understood, even within the California group.

“Being transparent about the code would be very awkward at first, but it should lead to rapid improvements in the quality of the recommendations,” he said.

“We’re developing a simplified approach to highlight more interesting Tweets,” he continued.

A measure of transparency could appease authorities and lawmakers who want to know how the platform operates.

Many elected officials, including Republicans, believe it is biased against them, while human rights NGOs criticize the service, particularly under Elon Musk, for not adequately addressing misinformation and harassment.

Making the code public also means other developers or potential competitors can use it.

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So far, no major alternative to Twitter has emerged. Most elected politicians, organizations and personalities still use it for communication.

Former network executive Jack Dorsey was a proponent of public code programming (Opens source).