Technology

How do some Americans get out of the political echo chambers?


Last October, students In Sarah Candler’s seventh-grade English class in rural Tennessee they discuss the presidential election, echoing each other’s pro-Trump sentiments. One student dared the others: “Who’s a Democrat anyway?”

A lonely girl raised her hand. “I saw terrified looks from the other kids,” Candler recalls. Then Candler raised her hand as well.

The closed-minded dialogue disturbed Candler. I started searching online for resources other than mainstream news sources, such as New York timesTo help her understand the policies of others. have found All sides, a site founded by former Netscape manager John Gabel that shows the same news headlines from left, center and right-leaning outlets.

Candler is among a small but growing number of Americans trying to break down information silos. They search for sites like AllSides; The heart face, which summarizes conservative and liberal news on one political issue every day; And the earth news, which shows how different stories are covered by left-, center- and right-leaning media. for video, atom tube YouTube feeds parody conservatives, liberals, conspiracy theorists, and climate deniers.

Jonathan Haidt, a New York University social psychologist who founded Heterodox Academy, a non-profit organization that seeks to encourage a diversity of viewpoints, particularly on university campuses. Gable, founder of AllSides, adds, “We have to get people out of their information bubbles, but also their relationship bubbles.”

Says the majority of adults in the United States One-sided information On social media is a big problem, although many may only mean information that goes against their beliefs.

Visitors to sites like AllSides seek views that conflict with their own; They enjoy discussing political differences more than the passing satisfaction of tribal conflicts on Facebook. Some are upset by the way their circles of friends and followers on social media reflect their beliefs. Few, like Candler, look to understand friends or acquaintances with different political positions.

Alan Stani, an unemployed graphics designer in Tallahassee, Florida, has voted twice for Obama, then twice for Trump. “Being a heresy politically makes me enemies,” he says. “I’ve always felt politically homeless.” That sentiment could extend to his family, as he navigates the tensions between his liberal wife, Biden supporters, and her conservative parents.

He has visited Flip Side and Ground News. “The more you look at things like Flip Side, the more you can understand her parents’ arguments,” he says. When he jokes about politics, half of the room turns against him, depending on which side he’s bothering with. They resisted his advice to check out sites like Flip Side.

Saira Blair was 18 years old when she was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates as a Republican, making her at the time the youngest person in the United States to be elected to a government office. After leaving her position in 2018, she tried reading six newspapers and magazines every morning to get a full range of views. But finding the time has been a struggle — now that her job isn’t focused on current events — and subscription fees have increased. I was frustrated by the bias in what I read.

“I started going my own way,” she says, searching for Flip Side and AllSides. I fell in love with her We are divided we fall, Another website that aims to bridge political divisions. These resources have helped her piece together what looks like the true stories behind important events.

Today, Blair believes her positions are more accurate. She recently expressed her appreciation for Article – Commodity Divided We Fall on the benefits of transgender women playing sports with cis women, prior to learning about West Virginia’s legislation to ban their participation. If she were still in her position, “I would have done things differently, after reading this article,” she says. Overall, it will have a “more balanced and educated platform. These sites didn’t exist when I first ran, and I really wish they were.”

They also check regularly blind swindler, a tool offered by Ground News that categorizes a user’s actions on Twitter as left or right skewed, based on a person’s tweets, tweets, and other interactions with liberal or conservative news sources. Blair aspires to a gymnast-like balance: 50 percent interact with sources from the left, 50 percent from the right.

Says Haidt, who created a website Library For this purpose with videos, books and articles. To better understand the views on the left, for example, the library offers sources such as Edmund Fawcett’s article “Liberal restoration. Choose the library door on the right, and you’ll find intellectual pieces like Yuval Levine.Governor’s vision. Haidt also reads Flip Side and AllSides daily.



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