Twitter Seeks to Clean Up Toxic Conversations

A proposed Twitter echo chamber audit might help the microblog to begin to solve one of its biggest problems — public fights…

Twitter has long struggled with serious issues. And, these aren’t necessarily regulated to monetization logistics. Instead, it’s more about users’ interactions on the social microblog, where incivility often takes center stage. After posting its third-consecutive profit and losing 1 million “users,” the company is turning its attention toward quarrels.

Twitter Echo Chamber Audit Commences

Twitter has already cracked down on fake profiles, introduced extra verification steps for new users, and taking additional measures to identify and block spam. It’s also working to fight abuse on the platform. Now, the company wants to foster healthier conversations.

Dr. Rebekah Tromble at Leiden University will head-up a team of researchers to delve into the underlying issues which produce incivility. The team will examine how people engage in political discussions and observe any problems which result. The researches will additionally gauge the frequency of diverse viewpoints in order to develop algorithms to identify “uncivil” and “intolerant” interactions.

“In the context of growing political polarization, the spread of misinformation, and increases in incivility and intolerance, it is clear that if we are going to effectively evaluate and address some of the most difficult challenges arising on social media, academic researchers and tech companies will need to work together much more closely,” Dr. Tromble said.

Researchers at Oxford University will also participate. They’ll assist with promoting a more healthy and less discriminatory digital space. 

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