Psychology 1010

“Facebook’s role in providing Americans with political news has never been stronger—or more controversial. Scholars worry that the social network can create “echo chambers,” where users see posts only from like-minded friends and media sources. Facebook encourages users to “keep an open mind” by seeking out posts that don’t appear in their feeds.

To demonstrate how reality may differ for different Facebook users, The Wall Street Journal created two feeds, one “blue” and the other “red.” If a source appears in the red feed, a majority of the articles shared from the source were classified as “very conservatively aligned” in a large Facebook study. For the blue feed, a majority of each source’s articles aligned “very liberal.” These aren’t intended to “resemble” actual individual news feeds. Instead, they are rare side-by-side looks at real conversations from different perspectives.” (quoted directly from the WSJ website).

Here is the link to the WSJ Facebook feed: http://graphics.wsj.com/blue-feed-red-feed/

After reading about how the site works, pick THREE of the 8 topics that are currently listed there (i.e., “President Trump,” “Health Care,” “Guns,” “Abortion,” “ISIS,” “Budget,” “Executive Order,” and “Immigration”), and scroll through both the liberal and conservative feeds until you feel that you’ve gotten a sense of how they differ. After doing so:

a. In one paragraph, compare and contrast the feeds for the first topic you chose.

b. In one paragraph, compare and contrast the feeds for the second topic you chose.

c. In one paragraph, compare and contrast the feeds for the third topic you chose.

d. In one final paragraph, describe what you’ve learned by doing this exercise.

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