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On what kinds of Twitter accounts would you be most interested in seeing research?

by Miranda_Zhang1 min read17th Jul 20214 comments

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Independent researchEffective altruism messaging
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I'm working on a BA Thesis around narratives on EA issues, probably on the Biden Administration's COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy (but open to change—feel free to message me with suggestions, particularly if they are longtermist), likely using the Narrative Policy Framework.

Per Humanities Research Ideas for Longtermists, I am focusing on Twitter narratives. I haven't decided on which Twitter actors to focus, however, and would love to crowdsource answers from the EA community on what kinds of Twitter accounts would be most impactful to research? 

 Two potential ways to answer:

  1. Specific recommendations, per my current topic (COVID-19 vaccine dipomacy in the US)
  2. Criteria you might use in identifying Twitter accounts of interest for EA research

To me, it seems clear that my criteria must include high activity [on Twitter] in the issue policysphere and potentially being followed by public health policymakers (ideally even the White House, though I doubt they follow anyone unofficial).

  • I would love more ideas on anything else to consider!
    • Lizka's post mentions having a large Twitter following, for example, and Lizka also names Nate Silver, Matt Yglesias, and Zeynep Tufekci.
    • Perhaps being followed by EA folk (as a gauge of alignment)? This would narrow my RQ, however, to "How influential are EA-aligned Twitter narratives" which seems less useful.
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2 Answers

I’ve seen the claim that economist Alex Tabarrok was significantly ahead of the curve on COVID issues. Would be interesting to see how he did or did not reach and convince the people involved in policy making. https://www.twitter.com/ATabarrok

Yes, I think Lizka might have mentioned him too. Good suggestion, thank you!

Specifically when looking at policy related stuff, I like to look at whether they are being followed by very good forecasting people, as that's an indication to me that their posts contain a lot of decision relevant information / that they have higher than average epistemic standards.

There's a pretty big overlap between the forecasting people and EA folk though.

Hmm that makes sense. Thank you!