Last Friday, Elon Musk released the source code for Twitter’s recommendation algorithm, posting it on GitHub. Soon afterwards web developer, Steven Tey announced that he had examined the code and found a mechanism that permits the US Government to “intervene” with this code.
Tey tweeted, “When needed, the government can intervene with the Twitter algorithm. In fact, @TwitterEng [Twitter Engineering] even has a class for it – ‘GovernmentRequested.'” Tey linked to those specific lines of code on GitHub.
Tey’s discovery of this “GovernmentRequested” intervention option follows previous revelations from the Twitter Files, which revealed how the company took orders from the FBI, DHS, the State Department, as well as local state authorities to censor and to de-platform users and used information portals to update Twitter frequently with instructions on which accounts to block.
Musk had predicted in a tweet that, “People will discover many silly things, but we’ll patch issues as soon as they’re found!” but he has not yet responded to Tey’s findings.
COL John Mills (R) joins Steve Bannon to say, “This is the government reaching into a private sector company and manipulating the algorithm. There’s no legal basis for this and there’s no reason why the US Government should be doing this.”
Mills continues, “Most hacks are not hacks, it’s an insider leaving the door open. Somebody left this door open for the US Government to reach into Twitter. It begs the question with other social media. Was there an agreement or did a witting insider leave a door open for the US Government to walk in – and not only monitor but change – there’s no legal basis for this.”
Mills says this back door gives CISA Director Jen Easterly “A dial that she can personally tune.”