Article Title: The myth of the online echo chamber
The article is about social media and the online echo chamber. An echo chamber is a metaphorical description of a situation in which beliefs are amplified or reinforced by communication and repetition inside a closed system. The impact of this is polarisation of views and the hostility for people with opposing views. The social media sites design their algorithms to suit the individual’s political view hence shielding them from the diversity of opinion that actually exists. But the writer believes that they do not significantly affect voter behaviour but that does not mean it’s all well and good.
The writer cites the recent surveys and studies to drive home the point that people actually want to read opposing viewpoints in order to get an idea about the narrative that is being developed to counter their views. But this does not mean that people become less polarised and dogmatic in fact it’s the other way round. The writer goes on to elaborate various psychological theories for such behaviour. According to the author the impact of echo chambers in social media has been overestimated but we should be wary of the spread of fake news. Finally he provides some solutions to counter this menace of fake news.
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Words to learn from this Article:
Wedge: a piece of wood, metal, etc. having one thick end and tapering to a thin edge, that is driven between two objects or parts of an object to secure or separate them.
Truism: a statement that is obviously true and says nothing new or interesting.
Blinkered: having or showing a narrow or limited outlook
Counterintuitive: contrary to intuition or to common-sense expectation.
Anecdotally: Based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis
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