Technology Elon Musk modifies the Twitter algorithm so that his tweets always stand out

This is not an error

Technology Elon Musk modifies the Twitter algorithm so that his tweets always stand out

This is not an error. The latest changes made to the recommendation algorithm, as revealed by the Platformer publication after consulting internal company sources, have been made precisely so that the Musk profile has a much greater presence than that of other users.

The reason is somewhat childish. Last Sunday, during the celebration of the Super Bowl game, Musk tweeted a message showing his support for the Philadelphia Eagles, who ultimately lost the game. US President Joe Biden did it too (his wife, Jill Biden, is from Philadelphia), but the president's tweet got far more traction, getting triple the views of Musk's despite Musk's has four times more followers on the social network.

Within a few hours, Musk had deleted his tweet so as not to be exposed. His cousin, James Musk, who is part of the group of trusted people who are helping him reorganize Twitter, sent an urgent message to the developers at 2:36 in the morning, asking anyone who was awake to help solve the situation.

Some engineers suggested that the high number of accounts blocked by Musk could be contributing to his tweets not getting as much traction as might be expected. Musk reacted by unblocking all users he had previously blocked, selling it as a blanket "sorry."

But as a definitive solution to the "problem", the engineers artificially assigned Musk's tweets the maximum value that the recommendation algorithm can give and the consequence is that, during Monday and Tuesday, each response or message sent from his account was promoted in an extreme way in the timeline of Twitter users.

Musk himself joked about the situation using a famous meme in which a woman forces milk from one bottle to another. Subsequently, he slightly reduced the weight of his tweets in the algorithm, but maintaining a much higher presence than any other account on the social network through artificial methods.

It's the latest twist in an obsession that seems to be consuming Musk. Last week the tycoon brought together the company's engineering team, decimated since his arrival, to try to understand why his tweets had less visibility lately.

One of the engineers was fired during the meeting for suggesting that the reason might be that what Musk says is no longer generating as much interest, showing as proof his drop in relevance, too, on tools like Google Trends. The engineers, after the meeting, tweaked the recommendation algorithm, although without giving Musk a specific priority, as they did this week.

Musk, who beyond the meme has not made any reference to this case again, has hinted that he plans to leave the Twitter address at the end of this year, when the company's financial situation is stabilized. To buy Twitter, for which he paid $44 billion, he has put the company into debt at the worst possible time, with interest rates soaring, and facing a huge drop in advertising revenue.

His plan is to get more users to sign up for the Twitter Blue subscription service, which for $8 a month grants an account verification symbol and some advanced tools, but so far the service hasn't aroused much interest among users.

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