Twitter brings in anti-Trump academics to combat prejudices



Trump issues warning on Twitter

President tweets he will examine what the discriminatory and illegal practice of the ‘shadow ban.’

Twitter campaign to encourage healthy conversations on its platform, with the support of academics is itself confronted with an accusation of anti-Trump bias.

In the previous tweets from their personal accounts, a number of the scientists involved in the high-profile project have repeatedly hit the Trump administration.

Allegations of anti-conservative prejudices continue to swirl around Twitter. Last week the social media giant took heat for “shadow ban” certain prominent Republicans, the limit of their visibility in the search results.

In a blog post Thursday, Twitter announced that it is working with experts to measure “healthy conversation” on the platform. A six-strong group of scientists to analyze the “echo chambers” that form of political discussions on Twitter and “incivility and intolerance” on the microblogging site.


“In the context of increasing political polarization, the spread of misinformation, and increases in incivility and intolerance, it is clear that if we are going to effectively evaluate and a number of the most difficult challenges arising from the social media, academic researchers and tech companies will need to work together much better,” said Dr. Rebekah Tromble, assistant professor of political science at Holland’s Leiden University, in a statement. “This initiative represents an important and promising opportunity for Twitter and our team of researchers to share knowledge and to work on solutions together.”

“Very happy for the good news! I will lead one of two projects selected by Twitter to develop and implement the data that help assess the health of the conversations on the platform,” Tromble tweeted Thursday.

Very happy to share the good news! I will lead one of two projects selected by Twitter to develop and implement the data that help assess the health of the conversations on the platform.

— Rebekah Tromble (@RebekahKTromble) July 30, 2018

However, a number of the academic previous tweets have been highly critical of the Trump administration.

Apparently no amount of boot licking guarantees Trump’s loyalty. #ScaramucciOut

— Rebekah Tromble (@RebekahKTromble) July 31, 2017

Trump quintupled down on his bet for the white-nationalists. They are just about all he has left. Over ain’t goin nowhere.

— Rebekah Tromble (@RebekahKTromble) August 16, 2017

Gross negligence on the part of the Republicans in Congress. The turn of the third country. It is horrible. #resist

— Rebekah Tromble (@RebekahKTromble) February 14, 2017

Trump on protests that killed 0: Crack! Bring them to their knees!

Trump on the radical-right slaughter of 6 Muslims: <crickets>#resist

— Rebekah Tromble (@RebekahKTromble) February 2, 2017

This is the Trump card of the Team. Every last one of them. From top to bottom.

— Rebekah Tromble (@RebekahKTromble) July 13, 2017

Dr. Patricia Rossini and Dr. Jennifer Stromer-Galley of Syracuse University are also involved in the project. Both scientists have also slammed Trump on Twitter.

Why Donald Trump when can you, Donald Trump? #TrumpDonald

— Patricia Rossini, PhD (@patyrossini) January 30, 2017

The end is not near. It is here #RNCinCLE

— Patricia Rossini, PhD (@patyrossini) July 22, 2016

01/20/2017 – the day reasonable americans flea to almost any country that will take them as trump wins. #RNCinCLE

— Patricia Rossini, PhD (@patyrossini) July 22, 2016

Trump’s proposed budget includes cutting Corporation for Public Broadcasting — the best source for news there is. Of course. #smallhands

— Jenny Stromer-Galley (@profjsg) March 16, 2017

Trump looks beatings in the face and demand more. Time the cover captures that well. The executive order is not a solution. Constant vigilance is still required.

— Jenny Stromer-Galley (@profjsg) June 21, 2018

The science says: Low on the height of the voters go for Trump. #election360

— Jenny Stromer-Galley (@profjsg) 8 November 2016

Another researcher involved in the project, Dr. Nava Tintarev of the technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, has also attacked Trump on Twitter.

“Asset” and “care” don’t really work in the same sentence do they? Keeping you in my thought today, ‘merica. Maybe the Senate will block it.

— nava (@navatintarev) May 4, 2017

Let us be wrong. Can we still find a way to solve this.

— nava (@navatintarev) 10 November 2016

The republican y chair Ronna McDaniel described the tweets disturbing within the context of Twitter alleged efforts to drive healthier conversations. “Much of Twitter is that the actions remain for the conservatives,” she told Fox News, via e-mail. “If Twitter wants to restore healthy conversations, they should start by talking with Americans outside of their bubble.”


Fox News has reached Twitter with a request to comment on this story.

Last week Twitter came under fire after McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, including Rep. Devin Nunes and Andrew Surabian, the spokesman of Donald Trump, Jr., failed to appear in Twitter’s auto-populated drop-down search results. The news was first reported by Vice News.

In addition to the research, the “echo chambers” and ” uncivil discourse,” Twitter is also working with other scientists to bridge the gap between the communities on the platform.

Social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook are more and more under control, in particular in the wake of a government probe of the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. Twitter, for example, recently removed from a variety of suspicious accounts of the platform.

The tech giant removed 70 million fake or suspicious accounts in May and June in an attempt to clean up the microblogging service, and combat misinformation.

Fox News’ Christopher Carbone contributed to this report.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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