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Steinert-Threlkeld on Twitter, Algorithms and Transparency

An Atlantic article on Twitter’s decision to publicly share part of the source code that determines which posts are prioritized in a feed cited Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, assistant professor of public policy and an authority on social media data. The glimpse at the algorithm revealed technical approaches that are “pretty standard these days,” Steinert-Threlkeld said. Twitter CEO Elon Musk has invited developers and the general public to suggest changes, and Steinert-Threlkeld noted that the company may be the biggest beneficiary of the decision to pull back the curtain on part of the code. “If bugs are discovered or improvements to the algorithms are suggested and accepted, Twitter will have found a way to replace the thousands of staff who left or were fired,” he said.


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