NPR: Social media can inflame your emotions — and it’s a byproduct of its design

NPR: Social media can inflame your emotions — and it’s a byproduct of its design. “If you feel like checking social media leaves you feeling angrier and more outraged, that’s not your imagination. Max Fisher has covered the impact of social media around the world for The New York Times, from genocide in Myanmar to COVID misinformation in the U.S. And in his new book, ‘The Chaos Machine,’ he describes how the polarizing effect of social media is speeding up.”

The Conversation: Don’t be too quick to blame social media for America’s polarization – cable news has a bigger effect, study finds

The Conversation: Don’t be too quick to blame social media for America’s polarization – cable news has a bigger effect, study finds. “…when scientists investigated social media echo chambers, they found surprisingly little evidence of them on a large scale – or at least none on a scale large enough to warrant the growing concerns. And yet, selective exposure to news does increase polarization. This suggested that these studies missed part of the picture of Americans’ news consumption patterns. Crucially, they did not factor in a major component of the average American’s experience of news: television.”

NewsWise: These Red Flags Can Let You Know When You’re in an Online Echo Chamber

NewsWise: These Red Flags Can Let You Know When You’re in an Online Echo Chamber. “Online echo chambers are virtual spaces that gather like-minded individuals. Prior research has shown that people are more likely to believe and share information they encounter in these spaces, because it confirms their existing beliefs. Echo chambers are also an ideal venue for hyperpartisanship, or rigid political ideology that shows a strong bias toward one perspective, while attacking another.”

New York Times: As Midterms Loom, Elections Are No Longer Top Priority for Meta C.E.O.

New York Times: As Midterms Loom, Elections Are No Longer Top Priority for Meta C.E.O.. “Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, made securing the 2020 U.S. election a top priority. He met regularly with an election team, which included more than 300 people from across his company, to prevent misinformation from spreading on the social network. He asked civil rights leaders for advice on upholding voter rights. The core election team at Facebook, which was renamed Meta last year, has since been dispersed. “

CNN: US is worried about Russia using new efforts to exploit divisions in 2022 midterms

CNN: US is worried about Russia using new efforts to exploit divisions in 2022 midterms. “Homeland and national security officials are worried about how Russia could significantly exploit US divisions over the November midterms, considering scenarios like Russia staging smaller hacks of local election authorities — done with the deliberate purpose of being noticed — and then using that to seed more conspiracies about the integrity of American elections.”

WIRED: The Internet Needs You-Are-Here Maps

WIRED: The Internet Needs You-Are-Here Maps . “Research we conducted with colleagues suggests that reflective data visualizations designed to show people which social network communities they are embedded in might make them more aware of fragmentation in their online networks—and in some cases prompt them to follow a more diverse set of accounts.”

WIRED: ‘Civic Fan Fiction’ Makes Politics a Dysfunctional Team Sport

WIRED: ‘Civic Fan Fiction’ Makes Politics a Dysfunctional Team Sport. “Stories bind us together, and woe betide anyone who forgets it; there is no perfectly rational and coldly logical way to replace the role of narrative in our lives. We’re meaning-making machines. More than anything else, that is what makes us human: the ability to imbue the inherently meaningless with the most elaborate and consequential of meanings. When it comes to politics, that means storytelling is often at the heart of it, and stories need heroes, villains, and narrative arcs. It’s easier and more satisfying.”

ABC News: For red and blue America, a glaring divide in COVID-19 death rates persists 2 years later

ABC News: For red and blue America, a glaring divide in COVID-19 death rates persists 2 years later. “Unvaccinated Americans are several times more likely to be hospitalized and die and those living in rural areas, as well as conservatives and Republicans, were among the most hesitant to be vaccinated, according to a September 2021 ABC News/Washington Post poll. For unvaccinated Americans, the decision to not wear a mask or follow other restrictions, ultimately caused increased transmission, which in turn, resulted in more severe outcomes, experts suggest. The end result is a gulf in COVID-19 death rates between red and blue states, one that is particularly amplified when examining the most and least vaccinated states.”

NiemanLab: If someone shares your politics, you’re less likely to block them when they post misinformation

NiemanLab: If someone shares your politics, you’re less likely to block them when they post misinformation . “In the study of just under 1,000 volunteers, researchers Johannes Kaiser, Cristian Vaccari, Andrew Chadwick found that users were more likely to block those who shared misinformation when their political ideology differed from their own.”

Windows Central: ‘No politics’ button now exists in LinkedIn, other new features coming soon

Windows Central: ‘No politics’ button now exists in LinkedIn, other new features coming soon. “LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern in a video interview, wherein the networking platform was discussed in-depth and a feature you may not even know you had was focused on. Midway through the WSJ’s video, Stern details how you can find the ‘allow political content’ button.”

“Corrosive Communities”: How A Facebook Fight Over Wind Power Predicts the Future of Local Politics in America (BuzzFeed News)

BuzzFeed News: “Corrosive Communities”: How A Facebook Fight Over Wind Power Predicts the Future of Local Politics in America. “Like higher-profile local battles over mask mandates and critical race theory, disagreements over wind policy have become intensely antagonistic and frequently hysterical. But unlike those issues, opposition to turbines isn’t neatly polarized along red–blue lines: It often pits conservatives against conservatives and liberals against liberals. Nor does it revolve around a once-in-a-generation event, like a global pandemic. Instead, it’s elemental — quite literally, in the air. In this sense, it may offer the purest example yet of the power of social media to warp local politics in 2021, to make a single emotional issue stand in for and subsume all others.”

Washington Post: There’s no mystery about what’s ‘broken’ in the country’s pandemic response

Washington Post: There’s no mystery about what’s ‘broken’ in the country’s pandemic response. “What’s broken in the country is that there’s deep polarization in views of the pandemic between those who see it as a public-health crisis demanding precautionary measures and those who don’t. That polarization overlaps heavily with politics, a function in part of former president Donald Trump’s broader strategy related to the virus as he sought reelection: pretend it was not a big deal.”

New York Times: Omicron Threatens Red America

New York Times: Omicron Threatens Red America. “In the U.S., partisanship is the biggest factor determining vaccination rates. If Democratic voters made up their own country, it would be one of the world’s most vaccinated, with more than 91 percent of adults having received at least one shot. Only about 60 percent of Republican adults have done so. This vaccination gap has created a huge gap in death rates, one that has grown sharply during the second half of the year.”