Elon Musk forced algorithm change to help boost his tweets, Platformer says


The billionaire Twitter owner was said to be unhappy with the number of views of his Super Bowl tweet. As a result of his request, Twitter excluded Musk’s tweets from filters designed to improve the quality of users’ timelines, Platformer said, and artificially boosted them by a factor of 1,000. — TNS

Elon Musk had Twitter Inc engineers working late on Feb 12 to alter his social network’s algorithm and prioritise his tweets, resulting in a glut of them in users’ feeds on Feb 13, according to a report by Platformer.

The billionaire Twitter owner was said to be unhappy with the number of views of his Super Bowl tweet. As a result of his request, Twitter excluded Musk’s tweets from filters designed to improve the quality of users’ timelines, Platformer said, and artificially boosted them by a factor of 1,000. Users across Twitter complained about seeing an abundance of the owner’s missives on the day following the Super Bowl.

Musk’s message of support for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday got significantly lower engagement than US President Joe Biden expressing a similar sentiment. The company’s chief has been increasingly focused on – and frustrated by – his personal engagement numbers, which have been dropping in recent weeks, the report said. Musk has nearly 129 million followers, whereas Biden’s account has 37 million.

Before taking the company private in a US$44bil deal in October, the Tesla Inc chief executive officer spoke of his desire to make it an even playing field and eliminate bias in the system.

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Musk tweeted liberally about Twitter and its functionality after the publication of the report, but didn’t address its content.

Earlier, he tweeted a meme suggesting his tweets were going to be force-fed to Twitter users. He also said the company was making adjustments to the algorithm. – Bloomberg

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