Twitter Engagement Study

Thank you for your interest in our study!

What do I need to do?
If you are interested in participating, you can opt-in here. The rest will happen automatically.

What may happen to my content?
If you opt-in, some of your content may or may not be retweeted by other Twitter users over the next months as part of the study. If amplified, this may mean that your content reaches a larger audience of people who might not normally engage with your posts.

For more detailed information, risks and benefits, please read the form below.

Study Information

The University of Pennsylvania is conducting a research study about the content people share on social media platforms, such as Twitter. You must be a Twitter user over the age of 18 to participate. If you decide to participate, we may collect publicly available information from your Twitter account (e.g. tweets, number of likes or retweets, number of accounts being followed/following you) and we may amplify your tweets (e.g. retweeting from the study account or from another Twitter user). We will ask you to verify your Twitter account (which must be public and have been created earlier than June 2020, with at least one tweet or retweet per month) by sending a direct message to the study Twitter account. We may also ask you to answer some survey questions.

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary, and you may refuse to participate, or withdraw your participation at any point, without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. You will not be paid, and there is no cost to you to participate. Your alternative to participating in this study is to not participate. This study, and your participation in it, will take place through November 2020. The study is expected to enroll approximately 500-1000 participants.

In some research studies, the investigators cannot tell you exactly what the study is about before you participate in the study. We will describe the tasks in the study in a general way, but we will explain the full purpose of the study after you complete these tasks. When the study is complete, we will provide you with more details about why we are doing this study, what we are looking at, and any other information you should know about this study. You will also be able to ask any questions you might have about the study’s purpose and the tasks you did. Full information about the study will be sent to you via email, will be available at, and will be posted on the study twitter account, in December 2020 or early 2021.

Risks and Benefits

This is a minimal risk procedure. Twitter handles will be deleted from the data once the research has been finalized. This de-identified data could be stored indefinitely and distributed for future research studies about social media use without additional informed consent. If you are a Penn student, employee, or other affiliate, nonparticipation or withdrawal will not affect your grades or in any way impact your standing at the university.

It is possible that study-related re-tweets of your public content may attract attention from a different audience of Twitter users than is usual for you, and this attention could be either positive or negative. The study will not amplify tweets that we expect to be controversial or to attract negative attention; however, we do not have control over how Twitter users respond. Please note that Twitter has its own privacy policy and terms of use, and you can view and edit these privacy settings in your own account. There are also resources online giving tips on how to deal with unwanted attention, including

There is no direct benefit to you from participation. We hope that the information learned from this study may benefit other people and further science by helping us to understand why and how people share information with one another.

If you have any questions about the study, you may contact the investigator, at If a member of the research team cannot be reached or you want to talk to someone other than those working on the study, you may contact the Office of Regulatory Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania with any questions, concerns or complaints by calling (215) 898-2614.