Twitter said that parts of its source code, the operating core of the company's major digital functions, was leaked online. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
March 27 (UPI) -- Twitter is investigating after portions of the company's proprietary computer codes were apparently leaked and discovered last week posted to a public online platform used by software developers.
On Friday, the social media giant run by billionaire CEO Elon Musk sent a copyright infringement notice to GitHub to immediately take down the source code, which serves as the operating core of the company's major digital functions, according to a federal legal filing in the Northern District of California that was first reported by The New York Times.
The source code was removed from GitHub the same day but might have been on the site for at least several months after a user with the handle "FreeSpeechEnthusiast" shared excerpts from the protocol.
For now, the person responsible has not been identified.
Twitter has asked the court to order GitHub to reveal the identity of the person who shared the source code and anyone else who might have downloaded it, but there was no immediate indication of whether the company planned to pursue criminal charges.
Prior to the debacle, Musk announced on March 17 that Twitter would open source the code related to its recommended tweets algorithm at the end of the month.
"Our 'algorithm' is overly complex & not fully understood internally," Musk wrote on Twitter. "People will discover many silly things, but we'll patch issues as soon as they're found! We're developing a simplified approach to serve more compelling tweets, but it's still a work in progress."
Meanwhile, Musk sent an internal memo to employees over the weekend that said Twitter had lost about half its value since he purchased the company in October for $44 billion, meaning Musk can now offer employee stock grants based on a $20 billion valuation.
According to the memo, Musk said he sees a "clear but difficult path" to increase the value of the company, although he did not elaborate.
Previously, Musk said he was "obviously overpaying" for Twitter when he reluctantly inked the deal to purchase the San Francisco-based company six months ago.
Since taking over the platform, Musk has faced multiple public controversies while the company has lost about 75% of its workforce due to resignations and mass layoffs while hundreds of big-name advertisers have also severed ties.
The Twitter boss has previously indicated that his tenure at the company is only temporary, and that he would appoint someone else to serve as the company's CEO before the end of the year.