The Divided States of America: How social media reveals social fragmentation (Phys .org)

Phys .org: The Divided States of America: How social media reveals social fragmentation. “Far from being an egalitarian melting pot of diverse opinions and worldviews, the Internet has grown to mirror the same social divisions that exist offline. The U.S. is fragmented into physically segregated communities with polarized idealogical differences. That is the conclusion of a new paper by the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. This paper quantifies the oft-repeated complaint that social media has become an echo chamber.”

New York Times: Brace Yourself for the Internet Impeachment

New York Times: Brace Yourself for the Internet Impeachment. “As impeachment looms, disinformation experts are bracing for a fresh cyclone of chaos, complete with fast-twitch media manipulation, droves of false and misleading claims, and hyper-polarized audiences fiercely clinging to their side’s version of reality.”

Pew: An update on our research into trust, facts and democracy

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): An update on our research into trust, facts and democracy “A little over a year ago, Pew Research Center decided to intensify its research focus on the theme of trust, facts and democracy. The decision reflected a changing world: In the U.S. and abroad, anxiety over misinformation has increased alongside political polarization and growing fragmentation of the media. Faith in expertise and institutions has declined, cynicism has risen, and citizens are becoming their own information curators. All of these trends are fundamentally changing the way people arrive at the kind of informed opinions that can drive effective governance and political compromise.”

Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute: Factions on the Left and Right Want Change in the Social Media Industry

Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute: Factions on the Left and Right Want Change in the Social Media Industry. “Social media giant Facebook, Inc. is facing angst from the both the Left and Right of the political spectrum in the United States. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing new regulatory action against Facebook and possibly other social media companies. Facebook has around US$ 3 billion saved for anticipation of an FTC fine. Some people argue that social media is akin to a public utility and that some regulation needs to occur.”

Forbes: Is Social Media Curating Hate And Scouring The Web For Our Greatest Fears?

Forbes: Is Social Media Curating Hate And Scouring The Web For Our Greatest Fears?. “Social media’s great promise was to connect the world. Yet rather than aggregate the world into a single real-time firehose, social platforms have increasingly turned to algorithmic curation to hand-feed us a perfectly personalized filter that appeals to our most intimate and powerful interests, desires and fears.”

Nieman Lab: Fact-checking can’t do much when people’s “dueling facts” are driven by values instead of knowledge

Nieman Journalism Lab: Fact-checking can’t do much when people’s “dueling facts” are driven by values instead of knowledge. “This has serious implications for American democracy. As political scientists, we wonder: How can a community decide the direction they should go if they can’t agree on where they are? Can people holding dueling facts be brought into some semblance of consensus? To figure that out, it’s important to determine where such divergent beliefs come from in the first place. This is the perspective we began with: If dueling fact perceptions are driven by misinformation from politicians and pundits, then one would expect things to get better by making sure that people have access to correct information — via fact-checking by news organizations, for example.”

Penn State News: Researchers to compare Twitter opinions on climate change with real-world views

Penn State News: Researchers to compare Twitter opinions on climate change with real-world views. “In their study, the researchers will construct a Twitter-driven regional opinion heat map, using an opinion-mining pipeline and the social media platform’s geotags, and analyze whether the map represents regional attitudes toward climate change captured in national survey data. Then, they will examine how differences in location, time and occurrences of climate-related events shape people’s opinions toward climate change. The researchers hope to gain a deeper insight regarding public opinion through the lens of social media.”