Koo Makes Its Algorithms Public, Commits to Transparency, Neutrality

Twitter-rival Koo on Wednesday said it has become the first significant social media platform to publish the philosophy and workings behind its core algorithms, thereby empowering users to understand why they are seeing the content that they do.

These algorithms were made public on Koo’s website, according to a statement.

Algorithms are a set of mathematical rules that help to personalise and improve experiences for users based on their own behaviours and preferences. The core tenet of these algorithms is to drive relevancy for a user.

Koo’s latest move comes at a time when transparency and free speech concerns have dominated the public narrative around social media platforms such as Twitter.

Last week, the world’s richest man Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion (roughly Rs. 3,28,534 crore) and has since been vocal about the need for the social media giant to drive greater transparency on how and why it promotes content. Musk also said Twitter should open-source its algorithms.

In a statement on Wednesday, homegrown micro-blogging platform Koo said it has become the first significant social media company to make its algorithms public, adding that the move “establishes Koo as a transparent and safe platform.” “This move reiterates Koo’s commitment to platform transparency and neutrality, while keeping user interests at the core. It empowers users to know why they are seeing the content that they do,” the statement added.

While the focus for Koo has been on building transparent, intelligent algorithms that function seamlessly, the platform now seeks to educate and make users aware of how it achieves these objectives, it explained.

“Koo discusses the broad variables used in its four main algorithms – Feed, Trending #, People recommendations and Notifications. These four algorithms determine the type of content users see and consume,” it said.

Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder and CEO of Koo, asserted that the platform’s algorithms work without any interference or bias.

“To speak openly about our algorithms is part of our commitment to letting users know that there are no hidden agendas at Koo,” Radhakrishna said.

Koo will continue to keep users informed about how it operates, and how it is building a safe, unbiased and reliable social media platform for the future, he added.

Elaborating on the move, Koo co-founder Mayank Bidawatka said, “By making our algorithms public we are taking a step towards letting users understand how we drive relevance.” “Algorithms are constantly evolving, and are experimented with on a very frequent basis, and while we start with publishing these, in the near future, we will also be providing users with the flexibility to see a timeline feed if they so wish. This gives them the best of both worlds,” Bidawatka said.


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