Twitter, which has been widely accused of discriminating against conservatives, recently launched an initiative to fight “incivility” and promote “healthy conversation” among users.
The social media company announced the research initiative in a July blog post, describing it as an attempt to focus resources on remedying toxicity and promote “conversational health” on the platform.
To accomplish this, Twitter has assembled a team of nine professors to conduct research on “measuring healthy conversation” across the platform, dividing them into two groups with separate but related objectives.
The first group, led by Leiden University political science researcher Dr. Rebekah Tromble, will address the issue of “echo chambers” and online civil discourse, while the other group will explore ways of bridging gaps between different communities.
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Twitter has faced heavy criticism from conservatives in Congress, the media, and the Trump administration following claims that some conservative users have been secretly “shadow banned” by the social media entity, meaning their profiles did not appear in search results.
Shadow banning has made it difficult for users to search for the Twitter feeds of prominent conservatives, according to Vice News.
“The Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, and Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman no longer appear in the auto-populated drop-down search box on Twitter,” Vice reports, “It’s a shift that diminishes their reach on the platform—and it's the same one being deployed against prominent racists to limit their visibility.”
Members of the House of Representatives, headed by Rep. Devin Nunes, are now exploring “legal remedies” to prevent Twitter’s rampant censorship of conservatives.
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Twitter has indicated that the accounts may have been flagged for “troll-like behavior,” saying that it has made changes to its platform so that “people contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search.”
“In the context of growing political polarization, the spread of misinformation, and inc
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