Twitter hires researchers to study the ‘health’ of its ‘discourse’


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Twitter has employed researchers to look at the well being of conversations on its platform.

One group of researchers will give attention to echo chambers and uncivil discourse, whereas one other will give attention to how one can bridge gaps between communities on Twitter.

In March, CEO Jack Dorsey requested for proposals — on Twitter, after all — from consultants on how one can dimension up the platform’s well being.

“Well being” has been a buzz phrase on the firm these days. In its second quarter earnings report final week, the corporate attributed a dip in month-to-month customers partly to “choices we now have made to prioritize the well being of the platform.” The corporate cracked down on faux accounts, purged suspicious accounts from customers’ follower metrics and eliminated apps final quarter that violated its policies.

Twitter has lengthy been criticized for specializing in eradicating content material in its whack-a-mole system for coping with abuse and eradicating content material. It has struggled with how one can reasonable its platform with out infringing on freedom of speech.

Dorsey conceded in March that the corporate’s current strategy wanted to be rethought, including that Twitter did not “totally predict or perceive the real-world destructive penalties” of such a preferred platform.

His purpose, he stated, is to make use of a “rigorous and independently vetted set of metrics” to gauge the platform’s well being. He plans to share the outcomes of these metrics publicly.

Rlelated: Twitter inventory tumbles 15% after it purged faux accounts

Twitter stated it reviewed greater than 230 proposals from all over the world.

The primary analysis proposal it chosen — led by Dr. Rebekah Tromble, an assistant professor of political science at Leiden College — will study echo chambers and uncivil discourse.

Tromble — together with Leiden College’s Dr. Michael Meffert, in addition to researchers at Syracuse College, Delft College of Expertise and Bocconi College — will develop two units of metrics. One will assess the extent to which individuals interact with numerous viewpoints on Twitter. The opposite will develop algorithms to know the completely different between illiberal discourse reminiscent of hate speech, and disagreement or incivility, which might function a type of dialogue.

“It’s clear that if we’re going to successfully consider and handle among the most tough challenges arising on social media, educational researchers and tech firms might want to work collectively way more intently,” Tromble stated in a press release on the weblog put up.

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The second proposal, led by Professors Miles Hewstone and John Gallacher on the College of Oxford and Dr. Marc Heerdink on the College of Amsterdam, will have a look at how publicity to numerous views on Twitter can lead to decreased prejudice.

“Guaranteeing we now have considerate, complete metrics to measure the well being of public dialog on Twitter is essential to guiding our work and making progress,” wrote Twitter’s David Gasca, head of product well being, and Vijaya Gadde, head of authorized, coverage and belief and security, who coauthored the blog post announcement.

“We all know it is a very bold activity, and sit up for working with these two groups, difficult ourselves to raised assist a thriving, wholesome public dialog,” they added.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed July 30, 2018: eight:59 AM ET

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