Our research suggests that stepping outside your echo chamber can make you more polarized not less. One of the reasons why this happens is that we become captivated by extremists on the other side who overshadow more moderate voices. The bots below retweet messages 12 by moderates each day who our research indicates resonates with members of the other party. We also screen out messages that score high on toxicity/incivility.
HOW DO THEY
We identify prominent accounts to retweet by examining the rates at which different liberals and conservatives produce tweets that are "liked" by members of the opposing political party. We are able to create these measures by tracking the online behavior of people who participated in several large surveys of Twitter users we've conducted over the past few years.
I DO NEXT?
Studies indicate that most people find that exposing themselves to moderate members of the other party is less difficult than they think. Such exposure may also help people take the perspective of those with whom they do not agree, or at least learn how to "agree to disagree." We recommend taking some time to learn what moderate people on the other side care about before you begin engaging with them. And as you begin to engage with those on the other side, consider using our issue tracker to identify the topics where you are most likely to find compromise.
"One of the messages your bot retweeted was NOT moderate at all."
Even though our survey research indicates the people our bots retweet frequently appeal to members of the other party, this does not mean that they will ALWAYS be appealing. Our bots do not filter the content of these people's tweets before sharing them because doing so would mean that they only share information that challenges peoples' views. We made this decision based upon the concept of the Latitude of Acceptance- you can learn more about this idea here.