A shocking new internal report claims that Elon Musk demanded his engineers fix Twitter’s algorithm in his favor or risk losing their jobs after a Super Bowl tweet from Joe Biden got more likes than his.
Platform (opens in a new tab)a reliable news outlet with extensive knowledge of Twitter’s dealings reports that Musk’s cousin, James Musk, sent an urgent message to engineers at 2:36 a.m. Monday.
“As the bleary-eyed engineers started logging onto their laptops, the nature of the emergency became clear: Elon Musk’s Super Bowl tweet got less engagement than President Joe Biden’s” , reveals the report.
Biden’s tweet generated nearly 29 million impressions, more than 20 million more than Musk’s own tweet, which he deleted.
“In the wake of these losses – the Eagles to the Kansas City Chiefs and Musk to the President of the United States – the CEO of Twitter flew his private jet back to the Bay Area on Sunday night to demand answers from his team ”, according to Platform.
Later that day, all of Twitter was bombarded with tweets from Elon Musk in the For You section of the timeline, which turns out was on purpose. Platformer says that “after Musk threatened to fire its remaining engineers, they built a system designed to ensure that Musk – and Musk alone – gets unprecedented promotion of his tweets to the entire industry base. users”.
The engineers, speaking to Musk in person, claimed his engagement may be down because he’s been blocked and muted by so many people since he took over the company, however, ” there were also legitimate technical reasons,” with Musk’s tweets online appearing “about half the time some engineers thought they should, according to some internal estimates.”
New code rolled out to Twitter now appears to “automatically greenlight” all of Musk’s tweets, bypassing his content filters and artificially boosting his tweets “by a factor of 1,000 – a consistent score that ensures his tweets are ranked higher than anyone else in the stream.”
While Musk hinted that the changes could be changed, and even joked while posting memes about how much content everyone sees, the result is that Twitter’s For You timeline, even now, remains largely unusable.
An employee told Platformer that Musk “bought the company, made a point of showing what he believed was broken and manipulated under previous management,” but has since flip-flopped and is now “manipulating the platform to force the engagement of all users to only hear his voice.”
“Once again, Elon Musk’s fragile ego is getting the better of him, and he wants to keep his role as Twitter’s main character and play God with the algorithm,” the social media expert said. Matt Navarre said iMore on Wednesday. Navarra says these shenanigans aren’t good for Twitter or its users, but aren’t all that surprising. He described Musk’s reported move as “extremely self-serving” and told us it wouldn’t benefit anyone but himself. Navarra doesn’t think this will drive users away from Twitter, but instead could see more users trying to block and filter his content, ironically exacerbating the problem he’s trying to solve. He also thinks it could reduce goodwill towards Twitter as a platform from actors such as advertisers. “I don’t think it’s going to instantly drive away millions of users,” he said, “but I do think it’s going to have a network effect on how people feel about the platform.”