Selected influential users can efficiently spread information on both sides of a controversial discussion.
Social media has become an important news source for a majority of adults. A common complaint is that social media help create echo chambers in which people reading information do not expose themselves to different viewpoints but are often confined to their own. This happens especially with controversial and polarising topics where two viewpoints become so isolated and conflicting viewpoints can emerge that people do not receive or read information that will not reinforce their own opinion.
Researchers from Aalto University and University of Rome Tor Vergata have designed an algorithm that is able to balance the information exposure so that social media users can be exposed to information from both sides of the discussion.
The algorithm uses a greedy algorithm paradigm that aims to find optimal choices at each stage. In this study the algorithm works by efficiently selecting a set of influential users, who can be convinced to spread information about their side to the other side. The goal is to maximize the amount of users exposed to both viewpoints.
Escaping the echo chambers with the help of influential users
“We use word clouds as a qualitative case study to complement our quantitative results, whereby words in the cloud represent the words found in the users’ profiles. For instance, if we look at the topics related to the hashtag #russiagate, we can see not only that the two word clouds that represent the conflicting viewpoints are rather different, but also that they indicate either support or hate for Trump”, describes Aalto University researcher Kiran Garimella.
Similarly, a topic like fracking has two circles of users talking among themselves, strengthening their conflicting campaigns.
“We see in our data that the network is fragmented into two sides, one set of users supporting fracking and using terms such as ‘oil’, ‘energy’, and ‘gas’, and another set of users opposing fracking and using terms such as ‘environmental’, ‘green’, and ‘energy’. There is small overlap in the keywords used by each side, indicading that users are in an echo chamber”, Professor Aristides Gionis adds.
The algorithm helps to identify a small number of influential users who are exposed to both campaigns and have a more balanced viewpoint.
“Examining the content of those users we see that it uses terms from both sides of the discussion. Thus, these users can play a significant role in initiating a social debate and help spreading the arguments of one side to the other,” Garimella concludes.
The Latest on: Balancing social media
[google_news title=”” keyword=”balancing social media” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
- With Helldivers 2 balance patch incoming, the game's CEO says weapons that score more kills aren't always "overrepresented" in successful missionson March 2, 2024 at 3:51 am
Arrowhead Studios previously announced that the team is working on a balance patch for co-op shooter Helldivers 2, but doing so has proven to be trickier than expected since weapons with higher kill ...
- “This is my handiwork, I’m proud of it” – Beautiful hard-working lady brags, flaunts fish business on social mediaon March 2, 2024 at 2:55 am
A beautiful and hardworking Nigerian lady turns heads on social media as she proudly shows off her fish business.
- 8 Ways to Navigate Social Media in Your Relationshipon March 2, 2024 at 2:16 am
N avigating social media in a relationship can sometimes be tricky, as it involves balancing personal boundaries, communication, and trust. Here are eight ways to navigate social ...
- Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed a bill banning kids under 16 from social mediaon March 1, 2024 at 5:42 pm
Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed a controversial bill that would ban children under 16 from social media.
- DeSantis vetoes Florida bill banning social media accounts for kids under 16on March 1, 2024 at 3:00 pm
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) vetoed legislation Friday that would have banned children under 16 years old from holding social media accounts in the Sunshine State. DeSantis, who had previously ...
- DeSantis vetoes bill that would ban social media for kids in Florida, promotes new billon March 1, 2024 at 11:22 am
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed a bill that would have banned social media for minors and required age verification for pornographic sites.
- Changes are coming to Florida's social media minor ban billon March 1, 2024 at 9:55 am
citing concerns that the legislation failed to give parents the ability to choose to give their children social media access. He also said he was concerned the bill would be subject to legal ...
- Coinbase users see $0 balance after crypto-trading app suffers glitchon February 28, 2024 at 10:16 am
in a matter of minutes shortly after noon eastern time as reports of the outage spread on social media platform X and elsewhere. "We are aware that some users may see a zero balance across their ...
- Social media rewrites hair care ruleson February 28, 2024 at 10:02 am
Consumers are having more honest and transparent conversations online about hair problems. Health and wellness companies have stepped up their offerings to meet these needs.” “Social commerce, beauty ...
- Scrolling social media too much? Try this.on February 28, 2024 at 1:00 am
and social media was my sword and my shield. I would numb my emotions and it ultimately brought me to the darkest place in my life,” explained May. Now past that, May helps teens find a balance with ...
via Google News and Bing News