Twitter’s Recommendation Algorithm is Now Publicly Available

After nearly a year since Elon Musk first suggested releasing Twitter’s recommendation algorithm to the public, the company has made the source code available on GitHub.

During a Twitter Space conversation, Musk expressed hope that users would discover potential problems in the code and assist in improving it.

He said:

Our initial release of the so-called algorithm is going to be quite embarrassing and people are gonna find a lot of mistakes but we’re going to fix them very quickly.

It is important to note that the code published on Friday only pertains to how tweets are presented in Twitter’s “For You” feed. Twitter did not release the underlying code for its search algorithm or how content is displayed on other parts of the platform.

Nonetheless, Musk affirmed that the search algorithm would also be open-sourced by the company in the future.

Designed to Favor Musk

The company has explained in a blog post the steps involved in its recommendation algorithm, including filtering and ranking. However, users have already been discovering intriguing details in the code, such as how Twitter’s algorithm labels Elon Musk as the tweet’s author.

This finding may provide another reason for his tweets are common on Twitter feeds. Additionally, the algorithm contains labels indicating whether the author is a “power user” and their political affiliation as Republican or Democrat, as pointed out by Jane Manchun Wong.

During a Twitter Space, a question was raised about the categorization of users as Republicans, Democrats, Power users, and Elon Musk by Twitter’s algorithm. Musk expressed his disagreement with the categorization, particularly the division of users into political affiliations, which he described as “not making sense.”

A Twitter engineer later clarified that the categories were not related to the algorithm but were used for statistical tracking purposes. Musk was surprised to learn that he had his own category, and the engineer did not explain this. The Twitter Space ended shortly after.

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