One well-known and outspoken billionaire is not at all happy with the actions of another well-known and outspoken billionaire.
Recently, Mark Cuban – who is perhaps now most famous for being one of the panelists on the television show “Shark Tank” – expressed his frustration with changes that Elon Musk has made to Twitter ever since he bought the social media company and took it private.
Just law week, Cuban accused Musk of manipulating Twitter so that it would promote tweets of his own, as well as points of view that he supports. During what he called a deep dive of how Twitter determines who sees what posts, Cuban said the Twitter algorithm ranks tweets higher if your followers interact with them.
That would seem to be a good way to see posts that are popular with the people who follow you. However, Cuban says that this ends up being extremely convenient for Musk, as he has the most followers on the platform.
In a Twitter post he sent recently, Cuban wrote:
“The largest Twitter account has the greatest reach. So who @elonmusk engages with on Twitter has an ENORMOUS impact on what an indeterminable number of people see in their For You Timelines.”
Cuban said the algorithms are now more influential than they once were because of this new timeline. In the past, the social media platform gave power to users to choose how often they were fed tweets from users they weren’t following.
When people open the platform now, though, they’ll automatically see a timeline that’s called “For You.” According to Twitter, half of what is shown there comes from a user’s network, while the other half comes from outside of their network.
While users can still see a feed of all tweets that come from users that someone follows, you have to navigate another window over. Cuban says that by adding another click for people to see these tweets, it actually forces people to pay more attention to their “For You” timeline.
By his logic, that means that the Twitter accounts that have the most followers are going to be more influential on the platform.
Cuban hasn’t been happy with Twitter for a while now. In April, he spoke with CNBC and said that he was paying for the social media company’s new Twitter Blue subscriber program that costs him $8 every month. Despite doing that, though, he said he was losing up to 1,000 followers every day.
Cuban’s complaints about Twitter have seemingly fallen on deaf ears when it comes to Musk – until last week that is. That’s when Cuban said it was “disingenuous to say Twitter is the home of free speech,” since Musk has elected to “put his thumb on the scale.”
To that tweet, Musk responded by writing, “suggestions for improvement are welcome.”
Cuban quickly responded that Musk should revert the Twitter format to what it was previously, allowing all users to have complete control over what they see on their timelines.