"This is the first time I'm learning of this by the way."


Elon Musk is, as we all recently learned, hardwired into Twitter's source code — but according to him, that's news to him.

As Insider points out, the revelation of Musk's name in Twitter's recommendations algorithm — along with "Democrat," "Republican," and "power user," — was a topic of discussion during a recent Twitter Spaces event about the newly-open (and previously leaked) source code.

When someone referenced the strange inclusion in the code, Musk pled innocence.

"I think it's weird," he said. "This is the first time I'm learning of this by the way."

He went on to ask Twitter's developers "what's going on" with the interesting line of code, and their responses seem to suggest that the man may not have any idea about what's going on at his own website.

Engineer Answers

As Insider notes, senior Twitter engineering manager Brian Wichers explained during the Spaces call that the now-infamous user categories were added to the recommendation algo a decade ago, and that they're "not too important in how it's used throughout the code base." Does that make any sense seeing as Musk only bought the site last year? We'll let you be the judge.

Another engineer still said that those user categories were added purely for tracking purposes and, bizarrely, to "make sure we don't bias toward one group versus another one," not to provide any type of user with "special treatment."

Musk went on to say that he thinks that sort of thing should be done away with.

"It definitely shouldn't be dividing people into Republicans and Democrats," he said during the call, "that makes no sense."

He's right, in a way — this whole thing doesn't make sense, but it's less that Musk is hardcoded into the Twitter source and more that he's acting, for some reason, like he's never heard about it before.

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