Elon Musk’s Twitter hasn’t been going great, and now we’re learning the CEO’s plans to make the website’s code open source may have come to fruition a little too early. Court documents have revealed that portion’s of the platform’s source code leaked on the software development forum GitHub, exposing some of the company’s most valuable intellectual property.
The New York Times reported Twitter moved to have the leaked code pulled from GitHub on Friday according to court documents. GitHub agreed, and removed the code from the online repository, but it’s unclear exactly how long the source code—or what portion of it—was posted. But nevertheless, Twitter has an axe to grind, and formally asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to identify and subpoena the person responsible for the leak. The user goes by “FreeSpeechEnthusiast” according to CNBC, perhaps a nod to Elon Musk’s fallible attempts at being a “free speech absolutist”.
When asked for comment on the source code leak, Twitter’s press office told Gizmodo “💩.”
GitHub declined to comment on the leak, but a spokesperson for the website pointed Gizmodo to the public DMCA takedown notice filed by Twitter. GitHub told Gizmodo that all DMCA takedown requests are posted for transparency.
Maybe Twitter is just mad that someone beat them to the punch? Musk revealed on Twitter earlier this month that the company’s recommendation algorithm in its source code will be open source beginning on March 31. While the company and Musk have made no indication of ever making the entire source code open access, he stated that this first peek behind the curtain will be “incredibly embarrassing at first” and is an attempt to have Twitter earn the trust of its users.
We’re almost a year out from Musk’s first offer to buy Twitter in April 2022, and as anyone could have predicted there have been...growing pains. In the last week alone, Twitter announced that legacy checkmarks will be removed—which may or may not be an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank—and Twitter users have also complained about tweets mysteriously vanishing. Through all the ups and downs, however, the Chief Twit himself remains foolishly optimistic: Elon Musk is steadfast that Twitter will be making money in a few months.
Update March 27 10:45 a.m. EST: This article was updated to include GitHub’s response.