Twitter Presses GitHub to Reveal Who Leaked Its Source Code

The data has now been removed from GitHub, but the social media giant wants to know how the culprit obtained it.

Court filings have revealed that Twitter’s source code was recently leaked online — and that the social media platform is now on the hunt for the person responsible, after subpoenaing GitHub for more information.

CEO Elon Musk claimed earlier this month that he has plans to release parts of Twitter’s source code anyway, but only aspects that relate to the algorithm determining which users’ tweets are recommended. This leak was not what he had in mind.

After months of layoffs, missed office rents and advertisers jumping ship, Twitter’s monetary value has plummeted dramatically – and that’s according to Musk.

Twitter Source Code Leaked

Last week, it was revealed in filings to the U.S. District Court that Twitter has been legally pressuring Microsoft-owned coding repository GitHub to provide information on a user that leaked the company’s copyrighted source code on their site.

Twitter’s lawyers demanded that GitHub “identify the alleged infringer or infringers”, and remove Twitter’s code from its site. The source code was taken down. There’s little additional public information about the proceedings available.

“GitHub does not generally comment on decisions to remove content,” a spokesperson for the platform told the BBC.

“However, in the interest of transparency, we share every DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] takedown request publicly,” they added.

The account name of the leaker – “FreeSpeechEnthusiast” – does feel like a not-so-veiled reference to Elon Musk’s self-professed absolutism when it comes to first amendment rights and internet censorship.

Let Me Leak My Own “Embarrassing” Source Code

Elon Musk has previously suggested that he will reveal parts of Twitter’s source code that are used to construct the algorithm that recommends Tweets, in the name of improving a part of the platform that is “not fully understood internally”.

“Providing code transparency will be incredibly embarrassing at first, but it should lead to rapid improvement in recommendation quality. Most importantly, we hope to earn your trust” Musk said in a March 17 tweet.

At present, it is unclear whether this is part of the source code contained in the GitHub leak.

Twitter in Tatters?

The leaking of Twitter’s source code is the latest installment of a seemingly never-ending saga of chaos that has left the company hamstrung by controversy, since takeover talks began in 2022.

According to the social media platform’s billionaire owner, who also founded Tesla and SpaceX, the site is now only worth around $20 billion, less than half of the $44 billion fee Musk paid for it back in October of last year.

Around half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers have now halted operations on the platform, and four of the top 10 biggest spenders have backed off, data from digital marketing firm Pathmatics suggests.

Whether Twitter can convince advertisers to come back and resume spending remains to be seen.

Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at

Written by:
Aaron Drapkin is a Lead Writer at He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol five years ago. As a writer, Aaron takes a special interest in VPNs, cybersecurity, and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, Cybernews, and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, ProPrivacy, The Week, and covering a wide range of topics.
Explore More See all news
Back to top
close Thinking about your online privacy? NordVPN is's top-rated VPN service See Deals