Research: Republicans were 4. 6x more likely to be suspended simply by Twitter in the six months following the 2020 election

Another data point showing Large Tech censorship disproportionately impacting conservatives

A study of 9, 000 politically active Twitter users who have shared election hashtags within October 2020, half Conservative and half Democrat, discovered that in the six months pursuing the 2020 US presidential selection, Republicans were 4. 6x more likely to get suspended in the platform than Democrats.

During this six-month period, a staggering 35. 6% of the Republican users had been suspended while just 7. 7% of the Democrat customers were suspended.

The study   argues that this observation of Republicans being censored in a much higher rate than Democrats “ provides no assistance for the claim that Twitter demonstrated political bias in its suspension system practices. ”

Instead, the study claims this particular observation “ could be described entirely by the tendency associated with Republicans to share more misinformation” and suggests that “ a users’ misinformation sharing has been as predictive of suspension system as their political orientation. ”

However , the way the study defines misinformation doesn’t focus on the accuracy of the content becoming shared. Instead, it uses the “ trust” ratings of 60 websites from a  previous study . This study gave popular media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Washington Blog post, and CNN, high believe in ratings and independent mass media outlets, such as Breitbart News, The Daily Caller, as well as the Daily Wire, low rely on ratings.

This means that if a user shares lots of links in order to mainstream media stories with a high trust rating, the research assumes that they’re sharing accurate information, even if the specific tales they share contain inaccurate information or are confirmed false.

Furthermore, if a user shares plenty of links to accurate tales from independent media outlets with a low trust ranking, the study assumes that they’re expressing “ misinformation. ”

Regardless of the motive that may be ascribed to these suspensions, the research shows that Republican users and users that share lots of links to non-mainstream media outlets are much more likely to be have their Twitter accounts suspended.

The study is a preprint and has not however undergone peer review.

This is the latest of several studies that have outlined bias in Big Technology services. A recent  study of email providers   suggested that will Gmail favored left-wing candidates while Outlook favored right-wing candidates and a  study   that will compared Twitter’s censorship associated with former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden during a period when Trump still had his Tweets account found that Trump and his campaign had been censored 436 times while Biden hadn’t been censored at all.

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