Twitter source code leaked online, court filings show

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Elon Musk Twitter account seen on Mobile with Elon Musk in the background on screen, seen in this photo illustration. On 19 February 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.
Jonathan Raa | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Pieces of the computer code used to run Twitter were leaked online, according to court filings, marking the social media site’s latest hurdle since Elon Musk’s tumultuous $44 billion takeover of the company late last year.

Twitter issued a subpoena on March 24 to the software collaboration platform GitHub, where a user identified as “FreeSpeechEnthusiast” shared excerpts of Twitter’s source code without permission, according to the filings. The purpose of the subpoena is to identify the person responsible for sharing the code, Twitter’s counsel said in the documents.

The documents were filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

GitHub complied with Twitter’s request and removed the code that same day, the company confirmed to CNBC. A spokesperson said that the company publicly shares all DMCA takedowns, which occur when content is removed from a website at the request of a copyright holder, in the interest of transparency.

Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Musk has previously claimed that Twitter will open source the code used to recommend tweets on March 31. He said he expects people will find “silly” issues, and that providing code transparency will be “incredibly embarrassing” at first.

According to the DMCA request shared by GitHub, the company removed “proprietary source code for Twitter’s platform and internal tools.” It is unclear if the source code used to recommend tweets is part of the leak.

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