A new study refutes the idea that Facebook is walling us off into echo chambers of like-minded people.
The study examined data from 10.1 million Facebook users to find out how frequently we’re exposed to stories from people with political views different than our own. There are, it turns out, concrete reasons why our newsfeeds look like they do. Stand back, Facebook conspiracy theorists: according to the study, we can’t blame algorithms for our newsfeeds’ tendency to turn up yet more baby pictures or Rand Paul political ads.
Instead, our likelihood of encountering content shared by people with opposing points of view depends more on the political views of our friends and what links we’re most likely to click.
"… Our work suggests that the power to expose oneself to perspectives from the other side in social media lies first and foremost with individuals," the study concludes…