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Breaking the Social Media Prism

How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing

Chris Bail

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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Medien, Kommunikation

Beschreibung

A revealing look at how user behavior is powering deep social divisions online—and how we might yet defeat political tribalism on social media

In an era of increasing social isolation, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are among the most important tools we have to understand each other. We use social media as a mirror to decipher our place in society but, as Chris Bail explains, it functions more like a prism that distorts our identities, empowers status-seeking extremists, and renders moderates all but invisible. Breaking the Social Media Prism challenges common myths about echo chambers, foreign misinformation campaigns, and radicalizing algorithms, revealing that the solution to political tribalism lies deep inside ourselves.

Drawing on innovative online experiments and in-depth interviews with social media users from across the political spectrum, this book explains why stepping outside of our echo chambers can make us more polarized, not less. Bail takes you inside the minds of online extremists through vivid narratives that trace their lives on the platforms and off—detailing how they dominate public discourse at the expense of the moderate majority. Wherever you stand on the spectrum of user behavior and political opinion, he offers fresh solutions to counter political tribalism from the bottom up and the top down. He introduces new apps and bots to help readers avoid misperceptions and engage in better conversations with the other side. Finally, he explores what the virtual public square might look like if we could hit "reset" and redesign social media from scratch through a first-of-its-kind experiment on a new social media platform built for scientific research.

Providing data-driven recommendations for strengthening our social media connections, Breaking the Social Media Prism shows how to combat online polarization without deleting our accounts.

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Schlagwörter

Nancy Pelosi, Twitter, Pundit, Pew Research Center, Bullying, Reputation, Jim Moody, Social status, Nonprofit organization, Silicon Valley, Extremism, Google Search, Field experiment, Voter turnout, Conspiracy theory, Echo chamber (media), Hillary Clinton, Republican Party (United States), Disease, YouTube, Newspaper, Politics, Filter bubble, Human behavior, National Science Foundation, Emerging technologies, News, Immigration, Misinformation, Tribalism, Hypocrisy, Breitbart News, Gun control, Make America Great Again, Website, Politician, Rumor, Leon Festinger, The New York Times, Culture war, Social inequality, What Happened, Campaign manager, Dan Ariely, Political science, Social issue, Copyright, Opinion poll, Bill Clinton, Narrative, Online and offline, Political campaign, Radicalization, Smartphone, Muzafer Sherif, Social environment, Instagram, Social isolation, Americans, Computational social science, United States, Cambridge Analytica, The Other Hand, Tax reform, Robert Mueller, Ideology, Brendan Nyhan, Advertising, Racism, Social psychology, Mark Zuckerberg, Social science, Respondent, Sociology, Technology, Fake news, Barack Obama, Criticism, Duke University, Family income, Finding, Police officer, Facebook, Social media, Public sphere, Scientist, Russell Sage Foundation, Political party, Online dating service, Identity politics, Public opinion, Prejudice, Entrepreneurship, My Father, Their Lives, Harassment, Illegal immigration, Mass media, Bumpus, Social group