This specific part of the code is responsible for deciding how the social network provides content recommendations to its users and also controls what users are able to see on their timelines. The fragments of the algorithm have been uploaded to Github, a popular code-sharing platform.
Selected parts of Twitter’s source code were revealed shortly after they were leaked on Github, but these repositories were later taken down at Twitter’s request.
Company’s owner and CEO Elon Musk promised to make the entire code governing this particular functionality of the social network public in the next few weeks.
Most of the recommendation algorithm will be made open source today. The rest will follow.
Acid test is that independent third parties should be able to determine, with reasonable accuracy, what will probably be shown to users.
No doubt, many embarrassing issues will be… https://t.co/41U4oexIev
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 31, 2023
By doing so, the company expects to gain insights through crowdsourcing. Any user will be able to analyze the inner workings of the system, including skilled programmers. They will also be provided with the possibility to suggest new modifications to the existing algorithm.
“In the coming weeks, we will open source literally everything that contributes to showing a tweet,” Musk said in his tweet on Saturday, shortly after he announced this decision. CEO also noted that this would lead to higher trust among the users of Twitter and would also reduce concerns about the transparency related to how the social network operates.
He also expects more rapid code improvements – from now on, the new changes should be implemented every 24 to 48 hours.
“No doubt, many embarrassing issues will be discovered, but we will fix them fast!” Musk said in his tweet.
The repositories uploaded to Github do not contain the parts of the algorithm that controls Twitter’s ad recommendations.