Elon Musk is a habitual tweeter. The Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report Chief Executive tweets at all hours, during the work day and late at night.
The billionaire’s wide ranging thought process on Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report frequently jumps from his own pet projects to law enforcement to social media.
His recent tweets range from lending support to the Artemis III astronauts traveling to the moon aboard Musk’s SpaceX Starship Human Landing System to a meme mocking the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its spying capabilities to an opinion poll about microblogging site Twitter’s algorithm composition.
Musk asked his nearly 80 million followers if Twitter’s algorithm should be made open source. The poll received over 1.1 million votes and a majority of 82.7% of the users who responded agreed.
Twitter Co-Founder and Former Chief Executive Jack Dorsey was quick to come to the social media platform’s defense and retorted that this distinction is a “choice” open to everyone. The pun was probably intended.
Dorsey is now leading financial payments firm Block (SQ) – Get Block Inc Class A Report, formerly known as Square.
Why This Matters?
Twitter’s algorithm is what determines the many tweets users get to see on their timelines, the kind of tweets they’re likely to see, the people most likely to show up on their timeline based on their engagement and user activity on the platform.
“An algorithmic Home timeline displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content we think you might be interested in based on accounts you interact with frequently, Tweets you engage with, and more,” Twitter says in a blog post.
Twitter’s algorithm uses machine learning capabilities to sort content based on different ranking signals. Twitter algorithms also power Twitter trends, topics, and recommendations, which appear in the notifications tab.
In 2016, Twitter gave users a choice between an algorithmically ordered Twitter timeline or viewing latest tweets.
An open source Twitter algorithm could potentially be used, modified and shared by the public making it more transparent and encouraging healthy competition.
But there is a flipside too.