Tech billionaire Elon Musk has once again taken to using Twitter to criticise the platform itself. In a tweet posted earlier today, Musk gave tips to ‘fix’ users’ Twitter feed by asking them to change their feed to a reverse chronological order by selecting the “Latest Tweets’ option on their home screen. Musk also said that user “are being manipulated by the algorithm” in ways they do not recognise.
Very important to fix your Twitter feed:
1. Tap home button.
2. Tap stars on upper right of screen.
3. Select “Latest tweets”.
You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don’t realize.
Easy to switch back & forth to see the difference.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2022
Jack Dorsey, the founder of the platform, replied to this tweet defending the algorithm, saying that it was just designed to save people time when they are away from the app for a while. A few hours later, Musk clarified his initial tweet by saying he wasn’t suggesting any malice in the algorithm.
it was designed simply to save you time when you are away from app for a while.
pull to refresh goes back to reverse chron as well.
— jack⚡️ (@jack) May 14, 2022
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
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 15, 2022
This comes just days after Musk announced that his deal to take over Twitter was “temporarily on hold” while he waited for more details about the proportion of spam or fake accounts on the platform.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
“Any sensible random sampling process is fine. If many people independently get similar results for % of fake/spam/duplicate accounts, that will be telling.I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate,” he added as a reply to the tweet announcing the status of the acquisition.
According to Musk, he later received a call from Twitter lawyers who told him that he has violated an NDA by revealing the fact that Twitter’s bot check sample size is 100.