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Twitter hires anti-Trump academics to study 'healthy conversations' on the site

Twitter hired academics who have posted anti-Trump material to study "healthy conversations" on the platform. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images)

Twitter, already facing accusations of anti-conservative bias, has hired some academics to study "healthy conversations" on the social media site — and most of them are publicly anti-Trump, Fox News reported.

Out of a group of six academics who are tasked with studying social media political "echo chambers," four of them have posted tweets that are blatantly against the president.

"Many of Twitter's actions continue to be concerning for conservatives," Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel told Fox News. "If Twitter wants to restore healthy conversations, they should start by talking with Americans outside of their bubble."

What is Twitter doing?

Twitter is trying to examine and improve upon the increasingly polarized and hostile environment in which political discussions take place.

"In the context of growing political polarization, the spread of misinformation, and increases in incivility and intolerance, it is clear that if we are going to effectively evaluate and address some of the most difficult challenges arising on social media, academic researchers and tech companies will need to work together much more closely," said Rebekah Tromble, one of the hired researchers.

What did the anti-Trump people say?

Tromble and several other researchers have posted tweets expressing their dislike of Trump. Some excerpts:

"Trump quintupled down on his commitment to white nationalists," Tromble tweeted last year after the Charlottesville rally that ended violently. "They're just about all he's got left. Bannon ain't goin nowhere."

"01/20/2017 - the day reasonable americans will flea (sic) to nearly any country that will take them if trump wins. #RNCinCLE," Patricia Rossini tweeted during the 2016 campaign.

"Science says: Low informed voters go for Trump," tweeted Jenny Stromer-Galley, linking to a Washington Post article on the afternoon of Election Day 2016.

"'Trump' and 'care' don't really work in the same sentence do they?" wrote Nava Tintarev of Holland, referring to Trump's health care efforts. "Keeping you in my thought today 'merica. Maybe Senate will block it."

Twitter's response?

"The two proposals were selected from more than 230 submissions from around the world because of their inexperience and the rigorous academic standards of their work," a Twitter spokesman said in an email to Fox News. "The abuse and harassment the lead female researchers are receiving is exactly why this work is important."

The spokesman emphasized that the researchers would not be doing work related to bias, but only evaluating communication.

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