Friday, April 19, 2024
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Twitter opens a part of its source code and includes the recommendations of the algorithm

Twitter this Friday released most of the source code that serves, among other things, to fix the algorithms, as announced by its team of engineers, who described it as the beginning of “a new era of transparency”.

Immediately, Elon Musk, the magnate who owns the network, retweeted it and explained that with this open source “third parties will be able to determine with reasonable accuracy, what is likely to be displayed to users”.

He admitted that this will bring “a lot of embarrassing issues” to the surface, but vowed that they will resolve soon.

The company’s blog explains that code that could compromise the security and privacy of users or “the ability to protect our platform“.

It also does not include the code that drives the platform’s advertising recommendations.

The operation of the algorithms represents one of the most powerful tools of Twitter and of all social networks, since they determine what will be the “feed” or flow of information that appears in each user’s account.

Since Musk took sole ownership of Twitter at the end of last October, it was clearly noticeable how the algorithm had changed for things as obvious as the more frequent appearance of advertising and the preeminence of Musk’s own tweets. in the feed from any account, whether or not they were a Musk follower.

Additionally, many users complained that numerous accounts they followed had fallen in the feed below many others they were not interested in, and they wondered why.

Platform redesign

Verification will now only be paid. Reuters Photo

All these changes seem to be part of the Twitter redesign strategy that Musk has carried out and that include, for example, that as of April 15, only verified accounts on the social network, that is, those that pay a fee, they may be recommended to other users.

Musk published a tweet last Tuesday in which he announced these new measures that represent a reorganization of the so-called “Twitter Blue”, a rating that is applied to accounts that pay a fee for achieve its verification and with it they obtain a blue mark.

The businessman of South African origin stated that the measure is the only realistic way to address the control of swarms of artificial intelligence ‘bots’ that interfere with the network through generated content automatically through computer programs.

The measure, according to the CEO of Twitter, also implies that only verified subscribers will be able to vote in the polls carried out on the popular social network.

Another measure that was taken was that accounts that are not verified will not appear in the “For you” tab.

Say goodbye to free verification

Elon Musk, owner of Twitter.  AP Photo

Elon Musk, owner of Twitter. AP Photo

On the other hand, Twitter announced last week that it would expand its paid verification program to everyone and eliminate those blue badges from “Legacy” accounts, that is, those that had obtained them before the platform issued them by subscription. The change was announced for this April 1.

Thus, to maintain verification it will be mandatory to pay or, otherwise, all Legacy accounts will be left without the blue tick. This is a problem since the verification is used to know if an account legitimately belongs to the person who owns it, in addition to the fact that, according to what they explain, experts influences the visibility of tweets.

The announcement does not necessarily come as a surprise, since Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, had been promising to remove these verifications, which were granted under Twitter’s previous rules, since November, and reiterated that they would disappear “in the coming months” several times.

According to Musk, those verification badges were delivered in a “corrupt and meaningless” way, although they are, in fact, quite useful in allowing users to confirm that personalities –athletes, celebrities, journalists– with whom they interact are the person they say they are).

However, it’s also hard to ignore that April 1 is April Fool’s Day in the Anglo-Saxon world, something that does not attract attention considering that Musk has a “troll” personality on the social network.

“It is quite possible that this announcement, which came from the verified Twitter account and not from Musk’s account, is just an attempt to scare people with previous verification marks. It’s a meme at this point that members of the press are overrepresented in the legacy verified user pool, and these days Musk is clearly not a fan of the media,” The Verge reported.

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