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Twitter

October 24, 2021

Twitter admits its algorithm is biased toward right-wing politicians, news outlets

After an extensive study of tweets, Twitter admittedly found that its algorithm has a bias for tweets from right-wing politicians and news outlets.

The platform examined tweets from elected officials in seven different countries and content from various news organizations such as Fox News, the New York Times, and BuzzFeed.

Twitter compared the data against its default algorithm for the “Home” timeline — which determines what content users see.

The research shows that in six out of seven countries, excluding Germany, tweets from right-wing politicians received more amplification from the algorithm than those from the left. Additionally, right-leaning news organizations were more amplified than those on the left.

“Algorithmic amplification is problematic if there is preferential treatment as a function of how the algorithm is constructed versus the interactions people have with it,” Twitter’s director of software engineering, Rumman Chowdhury, said. “Further root cause analysis is required in order to determine what, if any, changes are required to reduce adverse impacts by our Home timeline algorithm.”

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Twitter admits bias in algorithm for rightwing politicians and news outlets

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