US News Twitter further amplifies the right-wing political messages

01:15  23 october  2021
01:15  23 october  2021 Source:   lexpansion.lexpress.fr

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Twitter has said that its algorithms amplify content from right - wing politicians and news outlets more than others but it does not know why. It found that, with the exception of Germany, content posted by the political right received more exposure on the platform than left- wing political entities’ content. The internal review also examined hundreds of millions of tweets with links to content from news outlets during the same period – but not tweets directly shared by the primarily US media groups themselves.

Twitter 's study examined tweets from political parties and users sharing content from news outlets in seven countries around the world: Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US. Researchers then used the data to see which tweets were being amplified more on an algorithmically ordered feed compared with a reverse-chronological feed, both of which users have an option of using. They found that mainstream parties and outlets on the political right enjoyed higher levels of "algorithmic amplification " compared with their counterparts on the left.

a social network study reveals a tendency to increase the messages from the right-wing political parties in France and elsewhere.

Le réseau social Twitter avantage plutôt les contenus de droite que de gauche, selon l'une de ses propres études (illustration). © afp.com/olivier douliery The social network Twitter advantageous advantage of the right contents only from left, according to one of its own studies (illustration).

is a subject of tension in democracies around the world. What are the recommendation algorithms for major social networks? And what effects do they have on their users? Twitter - 12 million monthly active users in France - tried to a small transparency exercise, through an study to determine which political contents are the most highlighted on the current sons of his " Twittos ".

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Twitter said in April that it was undertaking a new effort to study algorithmic fairness on its platform and whether its algorithms contribute to “unintentional harms.” As part of that work, the company promised to study the political leanings of its content recommendations. “In 6 out of 7 countries, Tweets posted by political right elected officials are algorithmically amplified more than the political left. Right -leaning news outlets (defined by 3rd parties), see greater amplification compared to left-leaning.”

Conservatives, Republicans and other right - wing groups have long contested that the likes of Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and YouTube are biased against their political stances, censoring their content and removing prominent figures – including former US President Donald Trump – from their Ms Chowdhury said that Twitter had no way of knowing how its users we going to interact with its algorithms, making it difficult to know why certain types of content become amplified over others. “We can’t model for how individuals or groups of people will use Twitter , what will happen in the world in a

For that, Twitter, which detailed its methodology on its blog Thursday, analyzed several million elected tweets written between April 1 and August 15, 2020, in seven different countries: France so (via its members ), but also the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Canada, Spain, Germany.

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in each of these territories - to the very different political offers - Jack Dorsey's company compared differences between a managed feedback "Chronologically", and a thank you for the algorithm, which puts forward messages according to a multitude of parameters related to our platform habits - a choice that has become possible five years ago.

The results are eloquent. In six out of seven countries, including France, "these comparisons give a statistically significant difference, the right being more amplified," says the study. Only Germany does not seem to know this "bias". The conclusion is the same with regard to the media, mainly analyzed thanks to the US titles, classified by two independent organizations according to their obediences, from the left (Buzzfeed, Vox) to the right (Breitbart, New York Post ...).

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Twitter ’s algorithm amplifies right - wing news outlets more than others – but the social network is not exactly sure why – according to internal research posted on its website on Thursday. Since April, the company has examined if, and how, its algorithm that recommends content to users amplifies political content. Right-leaning news outlets see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets – the researchers found. The initial results only show bias in amplification , and not what causes it.

“ Twitter is publicly sharing research findings today that show that the platform’s algorithms amplify tweets from right - wing politicians and content from right-leaning news outlets more than people and content from the political left,” 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.”

The extremes not necessarily advantaged

more surprisingly, on the contents of the "extremes", left as right, in the often more radical tone, the amplification is less than "that of moderate / centrist partists in the same country", continues Twitter study. It therefore considers that its algorithm does not systematically promote the highlighting of the parties in power. For France, LREM is classified as among the "centrists" by Twitter. The extreme right returns, in the graph below, in the "non-registered".

Overall, the hexagon - like all other countries - experiences an important amplification of political messages, but the difference between each camp is rather thin, unlike Canada (the Liberals have an amplification of 43% ; Conservatives 167%) or the United Kingdom (Labor 112%; Conservatives 176%). The differences, the same light, take advantage of the right to the right.

and now? A hotfix could be more difficult than planned to apply. If it happens one day. "Algorithmic amplification is not problematic by default - All algorithms increase. Algorithmic amplification is problematic if there is preferential treatment according to the way the algorithm is constructed compared to the interactions of people With him, "Nuance thus Twitter. "A more in-depth analysis of the root causes is necessary to determine what changes, if any, are necessary," the social network is judged.

The effort remains commendable. Twitter also wants to share its data to academics or third parties, so that they can also conduct additional research on this subject of algorithmic biases, if technique in appearance, and yet become decisive in our democracies. And if Facebook started there too?

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