The Twitter Moderation Research Consortium is now open to researchers

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Twitter is committed to data-driven transparency. 

In 2018, this commitment led us to publish the first comprehensive public archive of data related to state-backed information operations. Then, earlier this year, we launched the Twitter Moderation Research Consortium (TMRC) — a global group of experts studying platform governance issues. 

These combined efforts have given tens of thousands of researchers access to 52 datasets spanning nine terabytes of media and more than 220 million Tweets, all with one goal in mind: empowering an unprecedented level of empirical research into state-backed attacks on the integrity of the conversation on Twitter.

Now we want to take it a step further. That’s why, starting today, we’re offering researchers the opportunity to apply for membership in the TMRC.

How to apply for the Twitter Moderation Research Consortium

Membership in the TMRC is open to global researchers from across academia, civil society, NGOs, and journalism. Our goal is simple: prioritize transparency by sharing more data on more issues to those who are studying content moderation. 

We developed our application process in consultation with members of our Trust & Safety Council and other global experts. You can learn more about the Consortium here or review eligibility criteria and apply for membership here

Why is transparency such a priority at Twitter?

Over the years, we’ve learned and shared a lot about the importance of combating manipulation and interference in political conversations on Twitter. 

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.

For example, earlier this year we shared data from about 15 information operations as a pilot for the TMRC. This data has already enabled critical, independent research by TMRC’s partners at the Stanford Internet Observatory, the Cazadores de Fake News, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

We’ll continue to share platform manipulation campaigns and information operations with the Consortium, in line with our platform manipulation and spam policy. This includes sharing data with TMRC researchers about the networks we remove and technical information about the presumptive country of origin of information operations. However, as we’ve said previously, we'll no longer share our own attribution information for these datasets. 

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. 

Over time, we intend to share similarly comprehensive datasets about other content moderation policy areas and enforcement decisions, such as data about Tweets labeled under our misinformation policies.

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