I mentioned on Twitter last week how I noticed that I keep getting recommended stories about Nigel Farage and from outlets on the political right wing like The Telegraph.
Lo and behold, Twitter has published findings from its own investigation which found that its algorithms actively promote right wing accounts and news sources. Now I hope it does something about it.
What did we find?
— Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline.
— Group effects did not translate to individual effects. In other words, since party affiliation or ideology is not a factor our systems consider when recommending content, two individuals in the same political party would not necessarily see the same amplification.
— In six out of seven countries — all but Germany — Tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group.
— Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organizations listed above, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets. However, as highlighted in the paper, these third-party ratings make their own, independent classifications and as such the results of analysis may vary depending on which source is used.