According to the announcement made just a week ago, the posts distributed on the Twitter timeline were to be displayed according to the priority set by the platform’s algorithms. The result was that the most recent posts were hidden, with the content feed starting to look more and more like that of the Facebook network, opaque algorithms determining when and what information platform users can see.
Classified as an experiment, the decision by Twitter to use algorithmic suggestions by default, instead of directly displaying the latest tweets, seems to have been aimed at better control over misinformation, ensuring that new tweets become visible to most users, and they only get a real chance of going viral after the platform’s automatic filters have had time to do their job.
In the proposed formula, Twitter displayed two tabs at the top of the application, both for the main timeline and for the most recent Tweets. Thus, users who wanted instant access to the news only had to switch to the recent posts tab, while the rest of the users received the “optimized” version of the Twitter timeline.
However, in the very tense context of the war in Ukraine, this way of displaying posts could be interpreted as a form of manipulation of information sources, by displaying posts favored by the platform’s algorithms.
Assuring users that there are no obscure interests in the middle, Twitter administrators officially announced the rejection of the experiment, the timeline displayed in Android and iOS applications being restored to chronological display mode. At the same time, the second tab with alternate display mode is removed from the application interface.
Taken very quickly, the decision to abandon plans for algorithmic organization of posts only confirms what fans of the platform already knew, namely that the Twitter network has built its reputation as a source of information where news circulates virtually instantly, ideal for tracking events in deployment. Thus, any change that disrupts the free flow of information is inevitably rejected by the platform’s veterans, who vehemently requested and obtained the desired response from Twitter administrators.