Musk and Dorsey argue over ‘manipulative’ Twitter algorithms
- Elon Musk told his followers to “fix” their Twitter feed to show the “latest tweets”.
- Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey said the framework was simply a way to show off new trends.
- Musk said he wanted Twitter’s algorithm to be open source.
Elon Musk said Twitter users were “manipulated” by the site’s newsfeed algorithm, prompting a response from founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey.
It marks the latest twist in Musk’s tumultuous takeover of the company.
In a tweet On Saturday, Musk said the default Twitter feed, which displays tweets based on a user’s popularity and interests, needed to be replaced. Twitter declined to comment.
“You’re being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don’t realize,” Musk said, telling his followers to “fix” their Twitter feed to show the “latest tweets” by hitting the star in top right of the screen.
Dorsey replied disagreeing with Musk, saying the feature was a way to update followers on new trends and was easily editable.
“It was designed simply to save you time when you’re away from the app for a while. Pulling to refresh is like reversing the chron [chronological] too,” Dorsey tweeted.
—jack⚡️ (@jack) May 14, 2022
Dorsey then replied to a tweet from another user who said that the function was designed to be manipulated, but that it could have consequences.
“No, it wasn’t designed to manipulate. It was designed to catch you up and work on what you’re getting into. It can definitely have unintended consequences,” Dorsey said, saying the current option of being able to choose was the best.
Musk replied to himself about eight hours later, indicating that any manipulation was unintentional.
“I’m not suggesting any malice in the algorithm, but rather that it tries to guess what you might want to read and in doing so inadvertently manipulates/amplifies your views without you realizing it,” said tweeted Musk. “Not to mention potential bugs in the code. Open source is the way to go to solve both trust and efficiency.”
The Twitter algorithm has been a key talking point for Musk, who wants it to be open source to increase trust in the platform, as he said on Friday the acquisition was pending confirmation that 5 % of site accounts belonged to an automated ‘bot’. accounts. Musk suspects the figure is higher and said he would take a sample of 100 random Twitter account followers.
Musk said Twitter’s legal team told him he broke Twitter’s nondisclosure agreement for that tweet.