Elon Musk has been vocal about the changes that he wants to see on Twitter ever since he announced that that he had acquired a 9.2% stake in the micro-blogging platform. First, the self-proclaimed ‘free-speech absolutist’ suggesting having an ‘edit’ button on the platform. Then the Tesla founder talked about reducing the subscription fee for Twitter Blue. The service costs $2.99 (Rs 233 approximately) per month in the US. Now, Musk in a series of tweets has claimed that Twitter’s algorithms manipulate its users. “You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don’t realize,” he wrote in a tweet. Also Read - Twitter’s closed captions feature arrives on Android, iOS: How to use it
In the same tweet, The Boring Company founder also shared a trick on how Twitter users can avoid getting ‘manipulated’ by Twitter’s algorithms. “Very important to fix your Twitter feed: 1. Tap home button. 2. Tap stars on upper right of screen. 3. Select “Latest tweets”,” he added. Also Read - This EV company has a message to Elon Musk
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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
In a subsequent tweet, Musk clarified that he wasn’t suggesting ‘malice in the algorithm’, rather “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”.
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
Responding to the tweet thread, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said that Twitter’s algorithms aren’t designed to ‘manipulate’ users as Musk has suggested. Instead, these algorithms have been designed “simply to save you time when you are away from app for a while.”
It is wort noting that Twitter gives users two options to view their news feed. The algorithmic feed shows users the tweets that are most relevant to them based on a variety of factors such as their likes and dislikes, the pages that they follow and the content that they engage with. The reverse chronological feed, on the other hand, shows users the most recent tweets on the top. Users can easily switch between the two feeds by tapping the star icon on the top right corner of the app.