Elon Musk changes Twitter algorithm so his tweets get seen by ‘1000 times’ more people than normal, report claims

Musk reportedly ordered engineers to make changes to Twitter’s algorithm to get better engagement

Vishwam Sankaran
Wednesday 15 February 2023 13:39 GMT
Related video: Elon Musk ‘eyeing’ purchase of Manchester United as deadline looms

Elon Musk allegedly threatened to fire Twitter’s engineers after his tweets during the Super Bowl attracted less engagement than president Joe Biden’s.

During the Sunday game in which the Philadelphia Eagles faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs, Mr Biden tweeted a video of first lady Jill Biden supporting the Eagles, while Mr Musk also showed support for the same team in a now-deleted tweet.

While the US president’s tweet garnered about 29 million impressions, Mr Musk’s post got around 9 million, according to Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer and Casey Newton.

Following this, the Twitter chief reportedly ordered the company’s remaining engineers to make changes to the platform to ensure his tweets got better engagement.

Citing sources close to the matter, Platformer reported that Mr Musk flew to the Bay Area, where Twitter’s San Francisco head office is located, to chat with his team in person.

The report cited Mr Musk’s deputies as telling the rest of the engineering team that they would all lose their jobs if the engagement issue was not “fixed”.

By Monday, Twitter reportedly made changes to “greenlight” Mr Musk’s tweets, meaning they would bypass the platform’s filters designed to show the best content possible to users.

Platformer reported that Twitter’s engineers pulled an all-nighter following Mr Musk’s visit to ensure the company’s chief had his tweets artificially boosted over other users “by a factor of 1,000”.

The new report is also in line with recent claims by users that their feed has filled up with posts from the Tesla chief.

Mr Musk even initially joked about the problem, tweeting an image that made fun of his own posts being forced onto users.

He also later added that Twitter was addressing a problem that meant 95 per cent of his tweets were “not getting delivered at all”.

The microblogging platform’s engineers reportedly raised the possibility that Mr Musk’s reach may have likely been reduced as many people had blocked and muted him in recent months.

Platformer stated in an earlier 10 February report that Mr Musk fired a Twitter engineer who told him that people were losing interest in his tweets.

“This is ridiculous... I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions,” the Tesla chief said, according to the report.

“You’re fired, you’re fired,” Mr Musk reportedly told the engineer.

The social media company’s boost factor for Mr Musk is now less than 1,000, according to Platformer.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by The Independent.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in