On Super Bowl Sunday, Elon Musk tweeted his support for the Philadelphia Eagles during the opening period of the game.
“Eagles, go!” Musk tweeted with an American flag emoji in the background.
Once the Kansas City Chiefs triumphed, Musk’s tweet was abruptly removed.
The following day, people on Twitter began to notice that their “For You” feeds were suddenly filling up nearly exclusively with tweets and replies from Elon Musk, as Mashable previously reported.
After learning that President Joe Biden’s post in favour of the Eagles had more views than his own, according to a recent report by Platformer, Elon Musk erased his Super Bowl tweet and asked Twitter programmers to prioritise his content in users’ feeds.
As of Tuesday night, 29 million people had seen Biden’s tweet.
In contrast, Musk’s tweet on Sunday garnered 9.1 million impressions before he deleted it.
According to the Platformer story, people with knowledge of the matter told the publication that James Musk, Musk’s cousin, alerted Twitter’s engineers to a “high urgency” scenario at 2:26 AM on Monday.
The problem was that Musk’s tweet was outperformed by Biden’s.
By Monday afternoon, a change had been made to the algorithm so that Musk’s tweets – and just Musk’s tweets – “bypassed Twitter’s filters.”
As a result, Musk’s tweets had been “artificially boosted by a factor of 1,000,” putting Musk’s material higher in everyone’s feed.
On Monday night, people began to protest that they could only see Musk’s tweets, and Twitter’s owner appeared to openly admit the problem by tweeting that “adjustments” were being made to the algorithm.
“[Musk] bought the company, made a point of showcasing what he believed was broken and manipulated under previous management, then turns around and manipulates the platform to force engagement on all users to hear only his voice,” a Twitter employee claimed in Platformer’s report.