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    Looking at harmful & empowering uses of Twitter Search (prospectus)

    November 6th, 2022

    Here is text of my prospectus for applying to the 2021 Information Operations Fellowship with Twitter’s Trust & Safety Team. (edited for a missing citation, modified & expanded presentation of citations, links to personal websites added, footnote re META added)

    I recalled this while thinking through the approach to full text search taken by Mastodon. See my post from 2022-11-05: Searching Mastodon?

    In light of Elon Musk’s recent tweet, analysis and discussion of how Twitter search might be used for harassment (and how search might be resisted or friction added to searching) is needed even more: 2022-11-05 15:31

    Search within Twitter reminds me of Infoseek in ‘98! That will also get a lot better pronto.

    Who is left to build guardrails to direct the use of Twitter search? Who is left to monitor and mitigate the harms?

    See the conversation under Taylor Lorenz’s ((??? @mastodon.social)(https://mastodon.social/(???)])) recent comment re search and discovery on Mastodon. The desire to be able to find what one wants seems to propel one to bowl right over what appears to be deliberately established community protocols and norms that consider also the desires of those wanting to be found (or not).

    [I’ll confess I made some lighthearted comments about Infoseek - 1, 2]


    Applicants should submit a 1-2 page prospectus along with standard application materials that lays out the scope and objectives of a proposed investigative project or projects. The prospectus should include:

    • A short description of the proposed project and motivations behind it
    • Project objectives and optimal outcomes for the applicant
    • Expectations around materials, resources and data access needed to complete the work
    • Demonstration of any preparation or pre-work already completed in relation to the project or projects