A report says Twitter is secretly boosting the accounts of certain high-profile users, including Elon Musk, using a proprietary algorithm. The algorithm reportedly promotes tweets from these users to a wider audience, effectively amplifying their messages and giving them greater visibility on the platform.
According to the article, some of the other accounts that are allegedly being boosted by Twitter’s algorithm include those of the popular Twitter user known as “dril” and the YouTube star MrBeast. The Verge report claims that this promotion is happening without the knowledge or consent of these users.
While Twitter has not commented on the specifics of this report, the company has acknowledged that it uses algorithms to recommend content to users based on their interests and behaviours. Twitter also notes that it may occasionally promote certain content to a wider audience through its own promotional channels, but that this is done on a case-by-case basis and is not influenced by financial incentives.
The Verge report raises some important questions about the role of social media platforms in shaping the public discourse and amplifying certain voices over others. Critics argue that Twitter’s algorithmic promotion of certain accounts creates an uneven playing field and gives undue influence to a select few users, potentially distorting public opinion and debate.
On Friday, Elon Musk is set to release Twitter’s recommendation system. But internally, there’s doubt the code that's released will provide a complete picture of why people see certain tweets. If a secret list of users are given preferential treatment, what’s the point? 3/
— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) March 28, 2023
In the case of Elon Musk, this promotion could be seen as particularly concerning given his history of controversial statements on Twitter. Musk has been accused of using the platform to manipulate the stock prices of his companies and spread misinformation about COVID-19. If Twitter is indeed promoting his tweets to a wider audience, it could be seen as complicit in these actions.
It’s worth noting that Twitter is not the only social media platform that has faced scrutiny over its algorithmic promotion of certain content. Facebook, for example, has been criticized for promoting fake news and conspiracy theories, while YouTube has been accused of amplifying extremist content.
Overall, the Verge report on Twitter’s alleged promotion of certain accounts raises important questions about the power of social media platforms and the need for greater transparency and accountability in how these platforms operate. As social media continues to play an increasingly important role in shaping public discourse, it’s crucial that we have a better understanding of how these platforms work and the impact they have on our society.
In addition to promoting the accounts of high-profile users like Elon Musk, the Verge report suggests that Twitter’s algorithm may also be promoting certain right-wing accounts to a wider audience. According to the report, some conservative commentators and pundits have seen a significant increase in their engagement and reach on the platform in recent months.
This promotion of right-wing accounts has raised concerns among some Twitter users and watchdog groups, who argue that it could be contributing to the spread of false or harmful information. For example, some right-wing figures have been accused of spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 US presidential election, as well as misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
It’s worth noting that Twitter has previously taken steps to combat the spread of false information and harmful content on its platform. In the wake of the 2020 election, the company introduced measures to flag and remove false or misleading tweets about the election results. The company has also introduced policies to address hate speech and harassment on the platform.
However, critics argue that these measures may not be enough to address the broader problem of algorithmic amplification of certain voices on the platform. They argue that until social media companies are more transparent about how their algorithms work and more accountable for the content they promote, the problem of unequal and potentially harmful content promotion will persist.