Curated Resource ( ? )

Opinion | Facebook serves as an echo chamber, especially for conservatives. Blame its algorithm. - The Washington Post

my notes ( ? )

Summary of peer-reviewed research - “Understanding Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: The Impact of Social Media on Diversification and Partisan Shifts in News Consumption” - by its authors, who found:

  • more time spent on Facebook, the more polarized their online news consumption becomes...
  • Facebook usage is five times more polarizing for conservatives than for liberals.
  • Facebook and Reddit connect their users with a wider, more diverse range of news sources, but shape news consumption of conservative users very differently: Facebook 30% more conservative, than what they typically read; Reddit 50% more moderate

Key ways the algorithms differ:

  • Facebook relationships are two way - lowers seeing content from people from outside your network, who'll have more diverse ideas - while Reddit relationships are open, topic-based
  • Reddit users upvote content, driving its visibility, while Facebook prioritises engagement spanning happiness to anger, hence enragement.

As the authors point out, these are intentional design choices.

Read the Full Post

The above notes were curated from the full post www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/26/facebook-algorithm-conservative-liberal-extremes/.

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See also: Online Strategy, Social Media, Surveillance Capitalism, Social media and Polarisation (Overview)

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