While Jake Tapper says he’s impartial and Ana Navarro claims to be a champion of the right, the data science behind Twitter’s “Who to follow” suggestions reveals otherwise.
Twitter’s support page tells us that “Who to follow” suggestions are first based on contacts you uploaded from your address book, or vice versa. But what if, as is the case with me, you didn’t upload any contacts from your address book and are using an email address that no one else has? Well, the secondary criteria relate to things like location, and who else you follow. But what if you don’t follow anyone, as was the case with me when I conducted this experiment?
Here is where things get smart…
If you don’t give Twitter any help determining who you might want to follow, the algorithm takes things in to its own objective hands based on whoever’s page you’re on.
Take, for example, Sean Hannity. Sean is a Fox News host and talk radio personality. He also makes no secret that he’s an avowed conservative activist. When I went to his page, Twitter’s data science determined that if I like Sean Hannity — I might also want to follow other conservatives like Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.
Makes sense, right?
Okay, now let’s do some others…
Evan McMullin was a 2016 Presidential candidate who was hoisted up by the conservative “#NeverTrump” movement. Since the election, Evan has promoted himself as an arbiter of truth, justice and right-minded integrity. But he’s lost a ton of the support he once had, mainly because people see him as being less interested in “truth” and more interested in trashing President Trump. And Twitter’s impartial algorithm seems to support that observation, because people who like Evan McMullin are also big fans of avowed liberal Joy Reid, and — wait for it — Hillary Clinton.
Twitter also suggests if you like Evan, you might like Ana Navarro. “Who the heck is she?!”, you might ask.
Ana spent her career as an alleged “Republican Strategist” chasing Jeb Bush around, and when he was laughed off the stage she became extremely bitter at the man responsible for it: President High-Energy himself, Donald Trump. Her career from 2016 onward is predicated on being the loudest, most outlandish, most shaky-voice-gonna-cry Trump critic in the room. But to hear Ana tell it, she’s just staying true to “her principles” and speaking for millions of other Republicans, who, like herself, “expect more” from the Republican party. But that’s not what the impartial algorithm shows. Nope. If you like Ana Navarro, then you’ll probably also like far-left activist Van Jones, and admittedly liberal MSNBC hosts Joy Reid and Chris Hayes.
CNN’s Brian Stelter is one of the media’s staunchest defenders. Day in and day out, Stelter is on Twitter and CNN defending what he swears is just good, honest, objective, impartial journalism. That must be why the users who most like what Brian Stelter is doing and saying, also like the entire MSNBC primetime lineup of out-of-the-closet leftist activists.
Behind the scenes of the political parties are strategists, consultants and advisers. Before Donald Trump came along, Rick Wilson was a prominent adviser among the Republican party. And like Ana Navarro, today Rick claims that he’s just sticking with his principles and trying to advance strength and integrity more consistent with the Republican party’s values. Enter Hillary Clinton if she were bald and 482 years younger (ie Evan McMullin), the second most famous guy in the world for sending dick pics to someone who isn’t his wife (John Schindler) and there she is again…MSNBC’s most active and popular leftist on Twitter, Joy Reid.
Last but certainly not least we have CNN’s Jake Tapper. Touted frequently but undeservedly as being one of the few truly impartial journalists in existence, Tapper is a busy Twitter user who also spends hours upon hours every day on CNN characterizing President Trump in wildly nefarious terms that persistently start and end from left-leaning perspectives. But with the help of many on the right — like, for example, Rick Wilson and Ana Navarro — Jake’s reputation as being “one of the good ones” somehow sustains. Twitter’s built-in lie detector tells a different story. Twitter users who like and engage positively with Jake Tapper, also like and engage positively with Chuck Todd, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow — the three most revered voices that out-of-the-closet liberal media has to offer.
I’ve long noted that when you call out Jake Tapper’s bias, it’s exclusively liberals who come to his defense. When Ana Navarro says she’s just trying to help the Republican party find its way again, it’s instructive that fully 95% of the people who retweet, “Like” or respond positively to her posts — are avowed Hillary or Bernie supporters who will never, ever vote Republican. People will tell you all kinds of things about who they are, and bickering back and forth as Brian Stelter says “We’re impartial!” and you say “No you’re not!”, has proven to be entirely fruitless.
But the impartial, objective algorithm which audits other users’ preferences and interactions doesn’t lie. Because let’s face it: A lot of these people, especially at CNN as of late, are lying through their teeth about their character and motivations — and the evidence isn’t always so easy to spot.