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    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | 16 min
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    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    • jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      News flash: Getting spammed by random Twitter messages from politicians and "opinion leaders" who hold viewpoints opposite to your own increases polarization.

      At this time, respondents in the treatment condition were offered $11 to follow a Twitter bot, or automated Twitter account, that they were told would retweet 24 messages each day for 1 mo.

      As Fig. 2 illustrates, we created a liberal Twitter bot and a conservative Twitter bot for each of our experiments. These bots retweeted messages randomly sampled from a list of 4,176 political Twitter accounts (e.g., elected officials, opinion leaders, media organizations, and nonprofit groups).

      Oh and then there's this gem:

      Similarly, increases in conservatism among Republicans may have resulted from increased exposure to women or racial and ethnic minorities whose messages were retweeted by our liberal bot.

      Yeah, no citation or footnote on that one. Guess it's a given that conservatives are just probably racist and sexist.

      Together, we believe these contributions represent an important advance for the nascent field of computational social science (46).

      This paper is embarrassing.