Several days after potential Twitter owner Elon Musk urged Twitter users switch to the latest-tweets feed rather than the algorithm-generated one, the billionaire entrepreneur returned to the microblogging network on Sunday to reiterate his suggestion. Also, please explain how to do it.
Twitter displays the algorithm-generated Home feed by default, which shows tweets that Twitter believes you’ll find most interesting based on your previous interactions with the program. Content could include tweets from people you don’t follow (other than retweets), viral tweets, and tweets related to certain themes in which you’ve expressed an interest.
However, the feed can be configured to display tweets in reverse chronological order.
This also cuts down on the amount of stuff in your timeline from accounts you don’t follow.
Musk believes the algorithm is misleading people “in ways you’re not aware of,” causing him to pin a tweet to his account on Sunday describing how to view the most recent tweets instead.
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
Musk, who just announced his intention to buy Twitter for $44 billion, stated last week that the most recent tweets “seem far better than what ‘the algorithm’ predicts.”
His remarks spurred Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey to defend the algorithm-generated feed, saying it’s “excellent at surfacing something you’d otherwise miss by not scrolling,” while the latest-tweets feed is “great for live and breaking events.”
On Sunday, Dorsey tweeted to Musk that the algorithm-generated feed was “intended merely to save you time while you are away from the app for a bit.”
“I’m not alleging malice in the algorithm, but more that it’s trying to estimate what you may want to read and, in doing so, unwittingly manipulate/amplify your opinions without you realizing this is happening,” Musk subsequently wrote, before adding, “Not to mention potential faults in the code.” To address both trust and efficacy, open-source is the way to go.”
Dorsey responded to another user by saying that the algorithm-generated feed “wasn’t supposed to be manipulated.” It was created to catch you up and work off what you engage in,” he said, adding that it “may definitely have unexpected repercussions, which is why one should be free to select whether or not to use an algo, and which one.”
Twitter discontinued the latest-tweets feed in 2016, but community pressure pushed the company to bring it back a few years later. It’s probable that Twitter’s own research discovered that the algorithm-generated feed increased user engagement on the platform, motivating the company to make it the default choice so that advertisers could pay more.
Musk has intimated that he wants to transition Twitter away from its present ad-based business and toward alternative types of revenue, which may include charging a small charge to commercial and government accounts.
Musk’s plan to buy Twitter appears to be far from finalized. He announced last week that he was halting the process pending an examination of fake/spam account data associated with the service.
Following the review, the bid will have to overcome a number of regulatory barriers.
However, if Musk does take over the company, he may try to make the latest-tweets feed the default option. This is undoubtedly a volatile time for the network, with some long-term users concerned about what might happen if the sale goes through.