Facebook famously keeps unflattering research about itself quiet, but Twitter has been showing another way of late. After recently sharing how biased
its facial recognition can be, it has now revealed findings that show how it algorithm amplifies right-wing content more than left-leaning content.
As Protocol reports:
The research did not identify whether or not the algorithms that run Twitter’s Home feed are actually biased toward conservative political content, because the conclusions only show bias in amplification, not what caused it. Rumman Chowdhury, the head of Twitter’s machine learning, ethics, transparency and accountability team, called it “the what, not the why” in an interview with Protocol.
“We can see that it is happening. We are not entirely sure why it is happening. To be clear, some of it could be user-driven, people’s actions on the platform, we are not sure what it is. It’s just important that we share this information,” Chowdhury said.
The researchers now plan to look into why this is happening.
Twitter has received a lot of justifiable criticism for its amplification of divisive, hard-line views like those of Donald Trump over the years. But by being transparent about its investigations into the issue, rather than treating it as a PR problem to be hushed away, the company could help build up user trust and avoid its own ‘Facebook Files’-style scandals in the future.