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Banning Twitter users reduced misinformation and improved discourse after Jan. 6, Northeastern research suggests

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image of David Lazer, Northeastern distinguished professor of political science and computer science, poses for a portrait at 177 Huntington Ave. on Feb. 21, 2024. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Twitter’s decision to purge the accounts of 70,000 “misinformation traffickers” following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol reduced the amount of false information on the social media platform, according to new Northeastern University research. The study, led by David Lazer, a distinguished professor of political science and computer/information science at Northeastern, examined more than 550,000 Twitter users who used the platform during the election cycle between June 2020 and February 2021. 

In their analysis, researchers aimed to answer two central questions — did Twitter’s removal of these accounts reduce misinformation, and what impact did the bans have on the behavior of users who followed the accounts? Misinformation is sharing of false information that users sometimes believe to be true.  

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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