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Polarization on Social Media: When Group Dynamics Leads to Societal Divides

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Title:Polarization on Social Media: When Group Dynamics Leads to Societal Divides
Authors:Rychwalska, Agnieszka
Roszczyńska-Kurasińska, Magdalena
Keywords:Social Media and Communities
agent based modeling, polarization, social media
Date Issued:03 Jan 2018
Abstract:Polarization of group opinions - a natural mechanism that enables groups to stay intrinsically cohesive - explains why after multiple interactions individual and group opinions shift towards the extremes. Recently, significant polarization of opinions can be witnessed in the public discourse of many Western societies in a range of topics. We argue here that the prevalence of social media together with its specific design may amplify natural group dynamics and strengthen the divisions. We present an agent based model wherein implementation of polarization mechanisms together with social media properties leads to increased segregation and radicalization of opinions. We propose certain design choices for social media platforms that could help ameliorate the problem.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Social Media and Communities

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