Musk Reportedly Pushed Algorithm Change to Boost His Tweets

The tech billionaire was upset that his Super Bowl tweet dropped the ball compared with one from President Biden, according to Platformer.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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A phone shows a picture of Elon Musk inside the shape of the Twitter logo.

Elon Musk purchased Twitter in October for $44 billion. 


Elon Musk pressed engineers at Twitter to modify the social network's algorithm on Sunday to prioritize his tweets, resulting in users' feeds being flooded with Musk's tweets, according to a report Tuesday by Platformer.

The billionaire owner and CEO of Twitter was displeased that his tweet in support of the Philadelphia Eagles during Sunday's Super Bowl attracted significantly less attention than a similar one posted by President Joe Biden, according to Platformer. Biden's tweet reportedly generated nearly 29 million impressions compared with Musk's 9.1 million before Musk deleted the comparatively lackluster tweet.

Musk's closest assistants reportedly instructed an engineering team of 80 to immediately fix the engagement issue. Their solution, Platformer reported, was to artificially boost Musk's tweets by a factor of 1,000, essentially bypassing filters designed to improve users' experiences.

The next day, several Twitter users noticed that their "For You" feeds on the website were full of tweets and replies from the tech billionaire, including accounts that don't follow him.

Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but on Tuesday Musk asked users to "stay tuned" while the social network made "adjustments to the uh….'algorithm.'" A few hours earlier, Musk posted a meme tweet that seemed to suggest his tweets were being force-fed to Twitter users.