GitHub takes down repository with Twitter source code

Twitter logo on a mobile screen
(Image credit: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash)

Microsoft-owned GitHub has taken down a repository on the developer platform after it was found to contain Twitter source code.

The move came as a Twitter employee notified GitHub, issuing a DCMA takedown request against the user called ‘FreeSpeechEnthusiast’ who had likely called themselves that in challenge to the social media platform’s CEO Elon Musk, who has at times referred to himself as a free speech absolutist.

It’s unclear which code made it to GitHub and for how long it had been available, however Twitter ​​filed a petition in the District Court of Northern California asking GitHub to take steps to help it find ‘FreeSpeechEnthusiast’.

Twitter breach

Before removing the repo, Twitter asked GitHub to preserve account activity including upload, download, and access history, along with contact information, IP addresses, and other session information. The request extends to any forks of the repo in hope that it would help Twitter to catch the perpetrator.

GitHub told TechRadar Pro that it “does not generally comment on decisions to remove content. However, in the interest of transparency, [it] share[s] every DMCA takedown request publicly.” 

From Twitter, we received a ‘Pile of Poo’ emoji as promised by the CEO himself. An automated reply jovially designed to distract from the fact that the company has fired a significant proportion of its workforce including its communications department.

The timing of this event is somewhat unfortunate, given that Musk had promised to make Twitter’s algorithm for recommending tweets open source: a promise that may be delayed or reversed as a result of the GitHub saga.

Since its Musk era, Twitter has spent more time in the news than not, and mostly for the controversial decisions that have been made. Despite buying the platform for a reported $44 million, Musk now values it at less than half of that, despite holding hope that it becomes a multi-billion-dollar empire one day. 

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!