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

Date
2018-01-03
Authors
Rychwalska, Agnieszka
Roszczyńska-Kurasińska, Magdalena
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
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.
Description
Keywords
Social Media and Communities, agent based modeling, polarization, social media
Citation
Rights
Access Rights
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.