There is this weirdly dominant narrative that social media drives political polarisation. It's not just that I have another good explanation for polarisation, it's also that this scapegoats what might actually be a useful technology, and/or confuses the real problems of social media manipulation and disinformation. Note: this is a perpetually under-construction blog post (in the old times it would be a Web page).
- https://www.pnas.org/content/117/6/2761 How social network sites and other online intermediaries increase exposure to news, Michael Scharkow, Frank Mangold, Sebastian Stier, and Johannes Breuer
- Shared Reality: From Sharing-Is-Believing to Merging Minds E. Tory Higgins, Maya Rossignac-Milon, Gerald Echterhoff https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0963721421992027
- Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization, Christopher A. Bail, Lisa P. Argyle, Taylor W. Brown, John P. Bumpus, Haohan Chen, M. B. Fallin Hunzaker, Jaemin Lee, Marcus Mann, Friedolin Merhout, and Alexander Volfovsky https://www.pnas.org/content/115/37/9216
- No echo in the chambers of political interactions on Reddit, Gianmarco De Francisci Morales, Corrado Monti & Michele Starnini https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-81531-x
- Historical language records reveal a surge of cognitive distortions in recent decades; Johan Bollen, Marijn ten Thij, Fritz Breithaupt, Alexander T. J. Barron, Lauren A. Rutter, Lorenzo Lorenzo-Luaces, and Marten Scheffer https://www.pnas.org/content/118/30/e2102061118.short
- The echo chamber is overstated: the moderating effect of political interest and diverse media, Elizabeth Dubois & Grant Blank https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1428656?src=recsys
- Greater Internet use is not associated with faster growth in political polarization among US demographic groups; Levi Boxell, Matthew Gentzkow, and Jesse M. Shapiro https://www.pnas.org/content/114/40/10612
- See also particularly chapter 5 of Alberto Acerbi, but also the whole book: Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age, https://global.oup.com/academic/product/cultural-evolution-in-the-digital-age-9780198835943
- Does Social Media cause Polarization? Evidence from access to Twitter Echo Chambers during the 2019 Argentine Presidential Debate; Rafael Di Tella, Ramiro H. Gálvez & Ernesto Schargrodsky https://www.nber.org/papers/w29458 (answer: no. But messing with the feed of polarised people in any way does increase theirs. But has no impact on non polarised.)
- Quantifying social organization and political polarization in online platforms https://nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04167-x, by Isaac Waller & Ashton Anderson, published in Nature. Yet another paper showing that social media doesn't polarise individual users. Reddit's overall content did get polarised in 2016 though by a) new users being disproportionately polarised coming in & b) conservatives getting weirder.
- review article preprint (499 articles reviewed!) Digital Media and Democracy: A Systematic Review of Causal and Correlational Evidence Worldwide, by Philipp Lorenz-Spreen Lisa Oswald Stephan Lewandowsky Ralph Hertwig https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/p3z9v/
|Literally a Romanian salt mine–I was in a boat on a lake being rowed by Cameron Cooke|