They might be the smartest species ever, but human beings still have a pretty devastating record at not making mistakes. This dynamic, in particular, has popped up on the surface quite a few times throughout our history, with each of its appearances forcing us to look for a defensive cover. We will, on our part, find the stated cover once we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, as it instantly concealed our many shortcomings. By doing so, it, of course, introduced us to a reality that we could have never imagined otherwise. However, the lifespan of that reality didn’t turn out to be very long, and if we are being honest, it was all technology’s fault. You see, the moment technology allowed its layered nature to take over the scene; it gave everyone an unprecedented chance to exploit other people for their own benefit. In case the stated situation wasn’t bad enough, the whole runner soon started to materialize on such a massive scale that it expectantly overwhelmed our governing forces and sent them back to the drawing board. After a long spell in the wilderness, though, it seems like the regulatory contingent is finally ready to make a comeback. The same has only turned more and more evident over the recent past, and Twitter’s latest move does a lot to propel it towards even greater heights.
Following a limited launch in the early part of 2022, Twitter is now officially expanding the access to its Twitter Moderation Research Consortium (TMRC), which is a group of experts from across academia, civil society, nongovernmental organizations and journalism dedicated to studying Twitter’s platform governance issues. This means, instead of just few selected partners, all researchers will have a legitimate chance to become a TMRC member. Nevertheless, in order to get there, you’ll have to get by what looks like a very detailed criterion. For starters, the applicant must prove that they’re affiliated with one of several eligible organizations. The next bit is how they need to have prior experience in regards to “data-driven” analysis and a specific public interest use case for the data. Twitter, in its own words, described the ideal candidate as someone “with a demonstrable history of independent research” or who’ve met criteria that “demonstrate an ability to be entrusted with the TMRC’s data and to pursue research for a qualified purpose.” Having established the parameters for a perfect candidate, the social media also deemed undergraduate students, industry and government officials and groups who’d planned to share the TMRC’s data with governments or other outside parties, as ineligible to participate.
Once you are selected though, you’ll be able to access an extensive lowdown on Twitter’s operation dating back to 2018. The stated data will, interestingly enough, focus on those “persistent platform manipulation campaigns”, something that makes a lot of sense in an age where cybersecurity issues are more than rampant. With such insights available at their disposal, the TMRC members are expected to help Twitter in redeeming itself from all the accusations regarding the company’s questionable security practices.
“By providing academics and researchers with access to specific, granular data (not just aggregated reports), we enable them to find insights and contextualize information in a way that increases the visibility of the reports themselves,” said Yoel Roth, head of safety and integration at Twitter. “Our goal is to remain transparent about the activity we identify on Twitter while addressing the considerable safety, security, and integrity challenges that come with disclosures of this kind.”