Elon Musk says Twitter will open source 'literally everything' as parts of code now public

His declaration came on the same day Twitter made parts of its algorithm public for the first time

Open source Twitter code would allow the public to inspect the company's proprietary software. AFP
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Twitter chief executive Elon Musk has said that the social media company will make “literally everything” open source in the coming weeks, part of his pledge to promote transparency on the platform.

His declaration on Friday came on the day Twitter made parts of its algorithm public.

Mr Musk said he is attempting to make the platform more transparent by making its algorithm open source. He had first stated that Twitter will make its algorithm public on February 21. It may be a major shift in the company's direction.

The move will allow the public to inspect and scrutinise the social media company's proprietary software, pitch their ideas to developers on how to change Twitter's code or even use the algorithm in their own applications.

In a tweet last year, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said that the platform's algorithm should have been open, and voiced regret that it became a company instead of a protocol not owned by anyone.

Mr Musk said during his campaign to acquire Twitter last year that he was in favour of free speech, but that led concerns that the network might be swamped with fake news.

The company responded by policing its content and imposing sanctions on offending accounts, including revamping Twitter's blue check verification system.

However, the changes to the blue check system has been met with opposition because of its subscription requirements. In the US, plans for what is now called Twitter Blue costs $8 a month or $84 a year, or $11 a month if bought through Apple's App Store.

Those who do not subscribe will lose the blue check mark beside their account names.

Users, especially public figures who do not wish to spend money to use the service, have become irritated by the new rules. A number of them have told their followers that impostor accounts might take their place and use them for illicit financial gain.

Mr Musk defended his controversial pay model on Friday, arguing in a Twitter question-and-answer that social media platforms that do not emulate this would be swarmed by bots, which would result in their failure.

Twitter also plans to use artificial intelligence to curb the manipulation of public opinion on the platform, Mr Musk said last month.

It is unclear whether this has any connection with Mr Musk's reported assembling of a team, which includes a former engineer at a unit of Google parent Alphabet, to develop a rival to OpenAI's text-based chatbot ChatGPT.

Mr Musk's attention to Twitter's algorithm has led to more controversy. In February, he was accused of manipulating Twitter's algorithm to extend the reach of his own tweets.

He instructed engineers to adjust the algorithm to allow his tweets to gain traction, resulting in a flood of his messages appearing on users' feeds, Platformer.news reported.

Updated: April 01, 2023, 2:11 PM