Transparency: Musk wants to disclose Twitter algorithms for recommendations in March
Twitter owner Elon Musk appears to be making good on his promise to be more transparent about tweet recommendations soon. The algorithms that are used to select the contributions for individual users are to be disclosed on March 31, as the tech billionaire announced on Saturday night. As open source software, they will be able to be analyzed by programmers.
On Twitter, tweets can either be displayed in chronological order – or weighted by software designed to find interesting and relevant posts for each user. Musk had promised a long time ago that Twitter would disclose the mechanisms behind this selection.
“Software too complex – those responsible don’t see through it themselves”
With the announcement, Musk now dampened expectations of the software. It is too complex and is not fully understood even by those responsible for the online service. “People will discover a lot of stupid things,” he wrote on Twitter. The transparency will be “incredibly embarrassing” at first, but should quickly lead to better recommendations.
Last month, a US report that Twitter had temporarily increased the reach of Musk’s tweets in the “For You” section prompted supervisors in Germany to take action. The Bavarian State Center for New Media (BLM) initiated the examination for a supervisory procedure. Musk denied that there was a deliberate increase in reach for his posts. It was just a software error that made the answers weighted the same as tweets. Users noticed a strikingly high number of Musk’s reply tweets among the recommended posts.