新たにTwitterのCEOに就任したイーロン・マスク氏が全社員の半数を解雇するなどの大規模な改革を実施し、Twitterの社内では混乱と動揺が広がっています。そんな中、TwitterやMicrosoftなどにソフトウェアエンジニアとして勤務し、記事作成時点では金融テクノロジー企業のBrexで主任エンジニアを務めるSteve Krenzel氏が、「かつてTwitterで非倫理的なシステムを開発させられそうになった時のエピソード」を打ち明けています。

With Twitter's change in ownership last week, I'm probably in the clear to talk about the most unethical thing I was asked to build while working at Twitter.


— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


To set the stage, this was the 2015-2016 era. @dickc was just ousted, though he was wonderful and made us feel like family. @jack came in as part-time CEO. Twitter had been near death for a while and was desperately trying to find a buyer. Facebook and Google both refused.

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


I worked as a software engineer on a team with a charter to make Twitter work better for people in emerging markets (Brazil, India, Nigeria, etc...). This meant a lot of mobile work. And was mostly non-visual stuff - reducing bandwidth, memory usage, battery consumption.

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


In the app, HTTP responses were compressed, but requests weren't. Logs are highly compressible, so I wired up support to gzip HTTP requests, and tweaked our log ingestion server to handle these.

(That reduced mobile bandwidth consumption by ~40% iirc. It was absurd.)

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


My plan was to aggregate signal strength by carrier / by location. I worked with Data Science to find a granularity – minimum area size and minimum distinct users per area – that would preserve anonymity even when combined with other sources of data (differential privacy).

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


I wound up meeting with a Director who came in huffing and puffing.

The Director said “We should know when users leave their house, their commute to work, and everywhere they go throughout the day. Anything less is useless. We get a lot more than that from other tech companies.”

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


Normally they might find another engineer to do this work, but my whole team was aligned with the privacy concerns. Twitter had also just done layoffs (aside: time is a flat circle), so there were no spare engineers around.

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


One random anecdote:

In the middle of this, I had gotten a new manager who, in a retention attempt I’ll never forget, said “If we filled a dump truck with money and dumped it on you, would you stay and build this?”

I wasn’t really sure how to respond to that… but no dice.

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


As far as I know, the project actually got canned. Jack genuinely didn’t like it.

I don’t know if this mindset will hold true with the new owner of Twitter though. I would assume Elon will do far worse things with the data.

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


And, for the any employees still at Twitter, don’t underestimate the power of a pocket veto.

Sometimes it doesn’t work out, or you have to escalate and risk it back firing, but a good pocket veto is a tool to learn to wield well.

— Steve Krenzel (@stevekrenzel)


「イーロン・マスクと仕事する時は善良なイーロン・マスクと悪いイーロン・マスクの2人が存在するという心構えが必要」と元SpaceXエンジニアがアドバイス - GIGAZINE

イーロン・マスクがTwitterで「パロディだと明記しないなりすましアカウントは永久凍結」という方針を打ち出す - GIGAZINE

イーロン・マスクが「社員の半分をクビ」にする全社的なレイオフを実施との報道 - GIGAZINE

「Twitterは世界の情報源として圧倒的に正確になる必要があり、それこそが我々の使命」とイーロン・マスクCEOがツイート - GIGAZINE

Twitterの買収を完了したイーロン・マスクがCEOに就任、テスラから集められた50人以上のエンジニアがTwitterのコードレビューに加わる - GIGAZINE

イーロン・マスクがTwitterから広告主が離れているとぶっちゃける - GIGAZINE

イーロン・マスクがTwitterをめちゃくちゃにすることを恐れてMastodonやDiscordに移行する人が続々登場 - GIGAZINE

in ソフトウェア,   ネットサービス, Posted by log1h_ik

You can read the machine translated English article here.