Twitter's Source Code Goes Public
On Friday, Twitter released parts of its source code, providing insight into the social media platform's recommendation algorithm. This move allows users and programmers to examine the platform's inner workings and suggests potential modifications.
Code Repositories Shared on GitHub
Twitter announced in a blog post that the source code had been uploaded to two repositories on the code-sharing platform GitHub. The repositories include many elements of Twitter's code, such as the recommendation algorithm determining the tweets users see on their timelines.
Elon Musk Advocates for Code Transparency
Twitter's billionaire owner, Elon Musk, has championed code transparency to increase users' trust and facilitate rapid product improvements. The decision to make the source code public follows his recommendations.
Addressing Algorithm Concerns and Scrutiny
Sharing the source code aims to address concerns from users and lawmakers about how social media platforms' algorithms select content. Transparency in the code-selection process may alleviate some of these concerns.
Encouraging Third-Party Analysis
Musk expressed his desire for third parties to analyze the open-source code and determine the content likely to be shown to users. He acknowledges that issues may be found but promises to address them quickly.
Updating the Recommendation Algorithm
According to Musk, Twitter plans to update its recommendation algorithm based on user suggestions every 24 to 48 hours.
Twitter Hosts Spaces Session for User Feedback
On Friday, Musk and some Twitter employees held a session on Spaces, Twitter's audio chat feature, inviting users to provide recommendations and ask questions about the platform's code.
Exclusions from Public Source Code
The Github repositories do not include Twitter's ad recommendation code. Additionally, any code that could compromise user safety and privacy or undermine efforts to prevent child sexual abuse material on the platform has been excluded.
Leaked Source Code Preceded Official Release
The news comes after parts of Twitter's source code were leaked on Github, which removed the code at Twitter's request. Twitter has since sought to identify information related to the account responsible for the leak through a legal filing.