It is the Twitter algorithm that decides on the sequence in which tweets appear on the news feed of a user. Users can change to a chronological arrangement of tweets simply by pressing on the icon of the white star at the upper right corner of their home screen.
In a tweet that urged his followers to try out the two distinct Twitter experiences, Musk claimed that the system manipulates people in ways that are not known to them.
“You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don't realize,” said the Tesla and SpaceX CEO. “Easy to switch back & forth to see the difference.”
Musk's criticisms of the algorithm have triggered a rebuke from free speech's failure Jack Dorsey, who oversaw the development of the algorithm to its current version while serving as CEO of the company.
“It was designed simply to save you time when you are away from the app for a while,” said Dorsey.
In a separate tweet, Dorsey denied that the algorithm had been created to influence users.
“It wasn't designed to manipulate. it was designed to catch you up and work off what you engage with. that can def have unintended consequences tho.”
“which is why one should be able to choose if they use an algo or not, and which one. simple solution to all this.”
The argument for opting-outs of moderation and content filters was made by the author in 2018.
The problem is that Twitter provides its followers with only two choices. The first is Twitter's authorized algorithm, the details of which are only known to the people who created it and it is therefore impossible for anyone else to discern the extent to which they are manipulating.
The other is an actual feed that a lot of people do not know how to enable. It's not clear when you look at it, what the icon with three stars on Twitter is doing — it seems like Twitter doesn’t want you to know.