This Interactive Tool Shows How Your News Feed Can Become Politically Biased.

We all prefer to follow the news that we like the most. To some extent, this is natural. However, as this interactive tool points out, it’s all too easy to get caught up in an echo chamber reinforcing extreme political views.

This tool, created by the Wall Street Journal, features posts from various news outlets that are classified as “very conservative” or “very liberal.” The WSJ tool does not cull individual posts from each news agency, but its selected media were selected using data from a Facebook study that compared the self-identified political alignment of 10 million Facebook users with the news outlets of their choice. As a result, each channel represents an extreme version of what politically active Facebook users can see. The WSJ points out that this is not intended to represent someone else’s information, but rather just a bird’s eye view of how different political views can get completely different versions of history.

As you read different topics, you will probably notice that even when the channels cover the same topic, they come to completely different conclusions. Many may even get upset about the same thing, but for different reasons. In the most extreme cases, both blame the other side for the problems. Of course, we expect this from a representative form of government, but when you only see it from one side, it’s easier to believe that the other side is the only one who ever does something wrong. The WSJ does not claim that either side is more or less guilty of this accusatory game (and Lifehacker is not to blame for that either), and frankly reducing politics to two “sides” is already rather simplistic. However, this tool offers a useful and frustratingly rare insight into how much alike we really are.

Blue pitch, red pitch | Wall street journal


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