UPDATE 5.16.22: In a duo of recent tweets, Elon Musk discussed his plan to reduce “inadvertent” manipulation in Twitter’s algorithms by making the site’s code open source. Both were tweeted on May 15.
In the first, he wrote: “I’m not suggesting malice in the algorithm, but rather that it’s trying to guess what you might want to read and, in doing so, inadvertently manipulate/amplify your viewpoints without you realizing this is happening.”
In the second: “Not to mention potential bugs in the code. Open source is the way to go to solve both trust and efficacy.”
Musk is discussing the apparent liberal bias in the Twitter algorithm, which he recognized in a response tweet to Mike Cernovich on May 9th.
Twitter obv has a strong left wing bias
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
Originally posted April 26, 2022.
On Monday, Elon Musk (Tesla) tweeted:
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
Last week, Musk modestly tweeted:
A social media platform’s policies are good, if the most extreme 10% on left and right are equally unhappy.
As the WSJ notes about the hyperbole surrounding Mr. Musk’s Twitter foray: (it) has been “curious, hilarious, and sometimes both.”
From Axios: Mr. Musk “is increasingly behaving like a movie supervillain.”
A former CEO of the social site Reddit wants government regulation “to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication.”
Twitter’s Hidden Value?
Will Elon Musk be able to strike a satisfying balance on content moderation?
Maybe, guesses the WSJ, which would make Mr. Musk right about Twitter’s hidden value.
Current management is correct that most regular social-media users don’t want a daily bath of Russian bots, jihadist propaganda, noxious harassment and so forth. Ditto for advertisers, who represent about 90% of the company’s revenue. Yet Silicon Valley’s tech lords have decided they want to be arbiters of speech on political topics like climate change and the origins of Covid.
Elon Musk Looking to Change Twitter:
Musk’s recent press release:
Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Mr. Musk. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.