Skip to content

Elon Musk Reveals Twitter’s Source Code As Promised, Says ‘Initial Release Is Going To Be Embarrassing’

On Friday, Elon Musk-owned Twitter released the source code for its recommendation algorithm that allows to peak into its workings

On Friday, Elon Musk-owned Twitter released the source code for its recommendation algorithm. 

In a blog post, Twitter said it uploaded the source code in two repositories on the code-sharing platform GitHub. The social media platform said it would allow users and programmers take a peek into its workings and the ability to suggest modifications to the algorithm.

Speaking about the release during a Twitter Space session, Musk said, “Our initial release of the so-called algorithm is going to be quite embarrassing, and people are going to find a lot of mistakes, but we’re going to fix them very quickly.” 

In this photo illustration the Elon Musk’s Twitter page is displayed on a smartphone screen on January 07, 2023, in Glastonbury, England. Musk was critical of the previous management’s handling of barrage of stories. MATT CARDY/BENZINGA

“Even if you don’t agree with something, you’ll know why it’s there and that you’re not being secretly manipulated. The analog we aspire to is a great example of Linux as an open-source operating system. One can, in theory, discover many exploits for Linux. What happens is the community identifies and fixes those exploits,” he added. 

In a tweet on Friday, Musk said that “most of the recommendation algorithm” had been released and that the rest would be released soon.

“Most of the recommendation algorithm will be made open source today. The rest will follow,” Musk said in a tweet. “Acid test is that independent third parties should be able to determine, with reasonable accuracy, what will probably be shown to users.”

The billionaire entrepreneur also said Twitter would update its recommendation algorithm based on user suggestions every 24 to 48 hours.

After the source code was made public, users shared what they found exciting. One user, for instance, shared that the codes shows that Twitter is explicitly tracking metrics for users are broken up into four different groups i;e “elon”, “power_user,” “democrat,” and “republican.”

“The 4 types of Twitter posters, according to the just open-sourced algorithm” Amjad Masad said in a tweet.

When a guest on the Twitter Space session asked about the tracked metrics, one of Twitter’s developers explained that the algorithm was simply collecting stats. 

On Friday, Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer also tweeted that Twitter had removed part of the source code that impacts users’ reach (including Musk’s) before making the algorithm public.

“The code that was released today doesn’t show the parts that actually alter the scores of Elon and other users. The part of the code referenced below just tracks Elon stats (from what I know). Employees removed most PII before the code was released,” said Schiffer.

Last week, Musk had announced that he would make the source code public, saying that the recommendation algorithm used at Twitter is overly complicated and that people may discover “many silly things.”

Musk was critical of the previous handling of the moderation from the past management and orchestrating the barrage of stories and exposing free speech suppression.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Recommended from our partners