With 100 million daily active users and 500 million tweets sent each day, Twitter, a social networking platform introduced in 2006, is without a question one of the most well-known social media platforms available today. Code that is intended to be publicly accessible is known as open-source software; anyone can view, modify, and distribute the code as they see appropriate. Peer review and community output are used in the decentralized, collaborative development of open-source software.
Elon Musk, a business tycoon, started his acquisition of Twitter, Inc., an American social media firm, on April 14, 2022, and finished it on October 27, 2022. In January 2022, Musk started purchasing the company’s stock, and by April, he had grown to become its top stakeholder with a 9.1% ownership position. Musk first accepted Twitter’s invitation to join its board of directors before deciding against it. Twitter’s board first reacted to Musk’s unsolicited bid to buy the firm on April 14 by using a “poison pill” method to fend against a hostile acquisition. On April 25, however, the board unanimously agreed to accept Musk’s $44 billion buyout offer. Musk said he intended to improve the platform’s functionality, open source its algorithms, stop spambot accounts, and support free expression. On the final day before the Delaware Chancery Court trial was set to begin, Musk signed a contract to buy Twitter on October 28. According to a source, some of Twitter’s senior executives were let off, including the company’s CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, CLO Vijaya Gadde, and general counsel Sam Edgett.
Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, gave a hint on February 22 that the firm was getting ready to open source the algorithm of the microblogging platform as early as next week. In response to a tweet pleading with the head of Twitter to make the platform open source, Mr Musk stated: “Expect to be dissatisfied at first when our algorithm is made open source next week,” adding that doing so will result in quick improvement. Making Twitter’s algorithm publicly available would enable users all around the world to use its software. The Tesla CEO’s comments are in line with earlier ones in which he endorsed the concept of making Twitter’s algorithm open source, which would increase platform transparency. Making Twitter’s algorithm open source is “the way to go to solve both trust and efficacy,” he claimed last year.
“I’m concerned about the ‘Twitter algorithm”s’ de facto bias having a significant impact on public dialogue. How do we know what is actually taking place? The algorithm must be open source, according to the Tesla CEO. In the past, social media experts have argued that opening up Twitter’s algorithm to researchers will allow them to better understand how hate speech spreads on the site and offer solutions for its suppression.
Former CEO and co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey has stated that his biggest regret with the company was that it had grown into what he called an open source protocol.“A transparent system, both in policy and operations, is the right way to earn trust. Whether it’s owned by a company or an open protocol doesn’t matter as much as deliberately deciding to be open about every decision and why it was made,” Mr Dorsey tweeted last year. It is however unclear if Mr Musk is serious about his latest tweet on making Twitter’s algorithm open source by next week.
Twitter has faced competition from other open-source social media platforms, including Mastodon, that saw a surge in use following the Tesla chief’s takeover of Twitter in October. Mr Musk’s latest tweet on open-sourcing Twitter’s algorithm also comes at a time when the US Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the role of YouTube’s algorithm in recommending ISIS videos to its users.
The US Supreme Court is currently considering arguments regarding the role of YouTube’s algorithm in suggesting ISIS videos to its users at the same time that Mr Musk’s most recent tweet on open-sourcing Twitter’s algorithm was published. The CEO of Twitter came under fire earlier this month for reportedly ordering the company’s surviving engineers to modify the algorithm of the platform so that his tweets would receive more engagement.