What Filter Bubbles Look Like

From MIT Technology Review:

American public life has become increasingly ideologically segregated as newspapers have given way to screens. But societies have experienced extremism and fragmentation without the assistance of Silicon Valley for centuries. And the polarization in the US began long ago, with the rise of 24-hour cable news. So just how responsible is the internet for today’s divisions? And are they really as bad as they seem?

In this Twitter map (below) of the US political landscape, accounts that follow one another are clustered together, and they are color-coded by the kinds of content they commonly share. At first glance, it might seem reassuring: although there are clear echo chambers, there is also an intertwined network of elected officials, the press, and political and policy professionals. There are extremes, but they are mediated through a robust middle.

 

Click for animated graphic  
Source: MIT Technology Review

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