Facebook and Twitter users were more likely to interact with information posted by like-minded users, a recent study found.
Matteo Cinelli, Gianmarco De Francisci Morales, Alessandro Galeazzi, Walter Quattrociocchi and Michele Starnini conducted the study titled “The Echo Chamber Effect on Social Media”. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
Researchers analyzed more than 100 million posts collected between 2010 and 2018 on Facebook, Gab, Reddit, and Twitter on controversial topics such as abortion, gun control, and vaccination. They found that compared to Reddit users, Facebook and Twitter users were more likely to interact with information posted by similarly-minded users.
‘Gab’ users displayed similarities with Reddit users, but with a stronger bias overall. According to the authors.
“We are exploring the main differences between the major social media platforms and how they are likely to influence the dissemination of information and the formation of echo chambers,” the study says.
To assess the different dynamics, we benchmark over 100 million pieces of content on controversial topics (e.g. gun control, vaccination, abortion) from Gab, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. The analysis focuses on two main dimensions:
1) homophilia in interaction networks and
2) bias in disseminating information to like-minded peers. Our results show that aggregation into homophile user clusters dominates online dynamics.
But a direct comparison of news consumption on Facebook and Reddit shows higher segregation on Facebook.
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