Call for proposals: Micro or “rapid response” projects
Project duration: 15 Jul 2020–30 Sept 2020
Project budget: 4,960.44 EUR
Twitter is an important online public space where political conversations and debates take place. Unfortunately, Twitter has been increasingly exploited as a tool to spread political propaganda by a large number of fake profiles run by organized groups of people. Such profiles pretend to be real users; they attack and intimidate other users on Twitter while promoting and sharing propaganda, thus trying to redirect or sabotage political discussions. Such organized operation violates the Twitter rules and policies, but is difficult to detect by conventional methods. Moreover, Twitter itself does very little to prevent such abuses – especially in small markets such as Slovenia. Since there is still no legislation to prevent such abuse of social networks, we decided to tackle the problem with our project.
The Twitter Brigades project will bring together experts in data analysis (Danes je nov dan) and investigative reporting (Pod črto). Together they will investigate the propaganda Twitter network in Slovenia. The results of the research will be published on the website Pod črto and thus accessible to the general public. The results of the analysis, i.e. detected fake profiles, will also be sent to Twitter with a request to delete the profiles.
Removing the controversial propaganda network from Twitter will help cool the heated political climate, allow for a more civilized and balanced debate, and offer Twitter users a less hostile environment to express their opinions.