Political Discourse on Social Media: Echo Chambers, Gatekeepers, and the Price of Bipartisanship

Kiran Garimella, Gianmarco De Francisci Morales, Aristides Gionis, Michael Mathioudakis

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Sammanfattning

Echo chambers, i.e., situations where one is exposed only to opinions that agree with their own, are an increasing concern for the political discourse in many democratic countries. This paper studies the phenomenon of political echo chambers on social media. We identify the two components in the phenomenon: the opinion that is shared, and the »chamber» (i.e., the social network) that allows the opinion to »echo» (i.e., be re-shared in the network) -- and examine closely at how these two components interact. We define a production and consumption measure for social-media users, which captures the political leaning of the content shared and received by them. By comparing the two, we find that Twitter users are, to a large degree, exposed to political opinions that agree with their own. We also find that users who try to bridge the echo chambers, by sharing content with diverse leaning, have to pay a »price of bipartisanship» in terms of their network centrality and content appreciation. In addition, we study the role of »gatekeepers,» users who consume content with diverse leaning but produce partisan content (with a single-sided leaning), in the formation of echo chambers. Finally, we apply these findings to the task of predicting partisans and gatekeepers from social and content features. While partisan users turn out relatively easy to identify, gatekeepers prove to be more challenging.
Originalspråkengelska
Titel på gästpublikationProceedings of the 2018 World Wide Web Conference : WWW '18
Antal sidor10
UtgivningsortGeneva
FörlagInternational World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee
Utgivningsdatum10 apr 2018
Sidor913-922
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-1-4503-5639-8
DOI
StatusPublicerad - 10 apr 2018
MoE-publikationstypA4 Artikel i en konferenspublikation
EvenemangInternational World Wide Web Conference: WWW ’18 - Lyon, Frankrike
Varaktighet: 23 apr 201727 apr 2018
Konferensnummer: 28

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