Twitter owner Elon Musk revealed that engineers at the social media company discovered a line of code, which was more than ten years old, which appeared to suppress tweets containing specific words.
During an interview with The Babylon Bee, editor-in-chief Kyle Mann asked Musk:
“One of the craziest things you did when you took over Twitter was start releasing the Twitter files,” he began.
“Who takes over a company and then says, ‘Look, how horrible all this stuff is that’s going on’?”
“If we’re not going to expose the things that were done wrong, why should people believe us in the future? That’s why we’re trying to be as transparent as possible,” Musk responded.
“Don’t take my word for it – literally look at the algorithm; you should be able to recreate the results that you see on Twitter using that algorithm.”
“So we’re trying to make sure that everything is brought to light, not just so there’s no hidden layers or anything,” Musk added.
“We just discovered last week some hidden layer of censorship that was written in 2012.”
The Twitter owner said that “‘censorship’ is probably the wrong word” to describe the code; Twitter had a list of words it would use to evaluate Tweets.
“If you put ‘suck’ in a tweet, then it does not get amplified on the platform,” he explained.
“And that was literally code from, like 2012. We found this relic of code last week.”
Musk later confirmed the line of code was being applied to all tweets, with a thousand words on the list used to suppress tweets.
The news comes just days after Musk pulled his platform out of the EU bloc’s online censorship project, angering EU officials.
Musk pulled Twitter out of the EU’s “Code of Practice,” a pro-censorship project aimed at tackling so-called “disinformation” online,
The move comes after months of mixed messages from Elon Musk, who stated that he wanted to support free speech while insisting that Twitter would support the EU in its censorship program.