Twitter’s algorithms are disproportionately boosting right-leaning news outlets and conservative content, a new study by the company finds. And Twitter doesn’t really know why.
The social media giant published a blog post about its findings late last week, co-authored by Rumman Chowdury, director of software engineering, and Luca Belli, a staff machine learning researcher.
“We believe it’s critical to study the effects of machine learning (ML) on the public conversation and share our findings publicly,” the pair writes. “This effort is part of our ongoing work to look at algorithms across a range of topics.”
The study in question is a deep analysis of how Twitter’s algorithms treat political content. It covered politicians’ tweets from seven countries — Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. — along with political content from news outlets in these countries.
Twitter was able to draw some conclusions from the data collected, but more impressive is its willingness to admit so openly that it has lots left to learn.