Nobody would have imagined the future of Mark Zuckerberg to get grilled by Congress 10 years ago when Facebook was a just fun site to make new friends online. Ironically, the founder’s testimony showed how powerful is the social network platform and its potential threat.
The socio-political impact of social media is far from a new subject. Probably the most important and controversial topic among its sub-categories may be its echo chamber effect. The echo chamber is a metaphor which represents a closed system of social media where a homogeneous opinion reverberates as a sound echoes in a real one. For example, a Republican supporter on Facebook has a high possibility to see news which reinforces her ready-made political opinion because the news which they see there is chosen based on her preference or that of her friends who may share the same viewpoint.
— Jennifer Steiner (@Steiner_1020) February 21, 2018
Many researchers have reported pieces of evidence that the echo chamber exacerbates political extremism.
Are you in a social echo chamber? Then you are living in a bubble with only people who share your opinions #socialechochamber #echochamber #socialmedia #biasednews #bubble #socialbubble #technology https://t.co/wsTbHeQsfs
— Phil in the City (@philfnyc) April 2, 2018
However, now everyone agrees that the social media is the place where homophily proliferates. Some of us already expressed it based on the rule of thumb.
I agree… in my field Twitter has opened my eyes to many perspectives… outside of what can be an #echochamber at times…
Value hearing the voices of those who are on the receiving end of our #mentalhealth services#SocialMedia connects, strengthens, challenges us… Needed!
— Nurse Whitebeard (@nursewhitebeard) March 6, 2018
Some argue the exact opposite of the assertion that social network exacerbates the social extremism by its echo chamber effect. They contend that the social media actually helps people to open to the diversity.
Studies show social media helps *most& people make friends outside their identity groups, increasing positive attitudes about diversity.
— 𝙅.𝙈. 𝘽𝙀𝙍𝙂𝙀𝙍 (@intelwire) October 16, 2016
So, what will be the best choice we can make in between these two opposing explanations? I can suggest two: recognize the limitation of your media in use and try to diverse them as much as possible.
— PollyG (@PollyG88) March 11, 2018
"After reading newspapers for a few weeks, I began to see it wasn’t #newspapers that were so great, but #SocialMedia that was so bad." – https://t.co/jQRCX9XbX5#FilterBubble #EchoChamber #ConfirmationBias #FakeNews
— Julien LaPointe (@JulienLaPointe) March 23, 2018