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Twitter will publicize rules around abuse to test if behavior changes

Twitter will publicize rules around abuse to test if behavior changes
From TechCrunch - April 6, 2018

As part of Twitters efforts to rid its platform of abuse and hate, the company is teaming up with researchers Susan Benesch, a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and J. Nathan Matias, a post-doc research associate at Princeton University, to study online abuse. Today, Twitteris going to start testing an idea that if it shows people its rules, behavior will improve.

In an experiment starting today, Twitter is publicizing its rules, to test whether this improves civility, Benesch and Matias wrote on Medium. We proposed this idea to Twitter and designed an experiment to evaluate it.

The idea is that by showing people the rules, their behavior will improve on the platform. The researchers point to evidence of when institutions clearly publish rules, people are more likely to follow them.

The researchers assure the privacy of Twitter users will be protected. For example, Twitter will only provide anonymized, aggregated information.

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