Chrome Extension Blocks Election Tweets (Most of the Time)
As we continue to creep towards the finish-line of the 2016 election, Twitter continues to be plagued with more political content than you can shake a poll at. If you're tired of reading quotes from politicians that only serve to anger you and raise your heart-rate, there's a new Chrome extension that tries to help.
According to its Chrome Store page, Make Twitter Great Again attempts to live up to its name by using "machine learning and artificial intelligence approach to block tweets." It attempts to deflect the claims of bias thrown at Facebook's trending news team earlier this year by filtering the text of the tweets, and not filtering by account.
When the extension identifies a tweet as connected to the USA Presidential election, it doesn't hide the post, but instead replaces the entire text of the tweet with "[This text is about USA election 2016]." That may not be as powerful as some are hoping for, but it's necessary at this stage, as the extension is not without false-positives.
For every successfully hidden tweet I saw, I also noticed another incorrectly flagged post. Handle Byte, the developers of the extension recognize this and note "our extension uses machine learning algorithms, our predictions may not always be accurate. That is why you can always show tweets[sic], that were hidden by it."
We even found instances where the extension didn't catch tweets about candidates in the election and previous elections, showing that machine learning takes some time to figure out things.
To start using Make Twitter Great Again, download it from the Chrome Web Store and click on its blue "t" button in the menu bar to confirm its switch is turned on. Now, once you hit Refresh on Twitter.com (it doesn't work with TweetDeck), the extension will go to work.