Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey Debate on Twitter

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Elon Musk, who stands poised to complete his purchase of Twitter, and Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO, as well as current board member, of Twitter, took their dispute to the source recently.

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On Saturday, Musk Tweeted: 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.

Later that day, Dorsey responded: it was designed simply to save you time when you are away from app for a while. pull to refresh goes back to reverse chron as well.

Another user agreed with Musk, saying Twitter was being manipulative, to which Dorsey replied: “No it wasn’t designed to manipulate. it was designed to catch you up and work off what you engage with. that can def have unintended consequences tho.” 

Ahhhh…unintended consequences like manipulation, Mr. Dorsey?

But then, while Musk was up Tweeting when most of us are fast asleep, he added a twist seemingly agreeing with Dorsey. He Tweeted, 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

And hasn’t that been Musk’s whole point when it comes to the algorithms? He wants them to be, and says he would make them, transparent. Which is something Twitter has not done thus far. Because with transparency, then we have a choice to participate in the manipulation or not. We at least know what’s happening to us.

Do you want Twitter algorithms to be transparent?

Stacey Warner

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