Twitter Source Code Released on GitHub for Transparency

Twitter open source

Twitter’s move to open source much of its code is part of its effort to foster transparency and build trust with its users, customers, and the general public, says Elon Musk’s company.

“At Twitter 2.0, we believe that we have a responsibility, as the town square of the internet, to make our platform transparent,” said Twitter in a blog post on Friday. Musk said earlier this week the source code would be shared on Friday at noon PDT.

The company has opened up two new repositories on GitHub containing source code for many parts of Twitter, including the recommendations algorithm that controls the Tweets users see on the For You timeline.

“We aimed for the highest possible degree of transparency, while excluding any code that would compromise user safety and privacy or the ability to protect our platform from bad actors,” Twitter explained.

While the move is a significant step towards openness, Twitter has taken additional steps to protect user safety and privacy, including its decision not to release training data or model weights associated with the Twitter algorithm. “This is our first step to be more transparent in this way, and we plan to continue sharing more code that does not present a significant risk to Twitter or people on our platform,” the company said.

Twitter is also inviting the community to submit GitHub issues and pull requests for suggestions on improving the recommendations algorithm, and the company is working on tools to manage these suggestions and sync changes to its internal repository.

“We hope to benefit from the collective intelligence and expertise of the global community in helping us identify issues and suggest improvements, ultimately leading to a better Twitter,” said the company.

A deeper dive into the company’s recommendation algorithm was shared by the Twitter team in a separate blog post, which you can read here.

Musk is currently on Twitter Spaces right now discussing the social network’s source code, you can tune in below:

According to Musk he’s pushing Linux as something Twitter needs to shift to (it’s what SpaceX and Tesla is based on), “as you can trust what you see” so that it’s the “least manipulated” in the world. The Twitter Spaces has reached a Q&A part that’s mainly seeking technical questions related to the source code.