Skip to content

Social media echo chambers aren’t making the US more politically polarized. So what is?

People in this story

09/10/18 - BOSTON, MA. - Donghee Jo poses for a portrait on September 10, 2018. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

The United States is growing more and more politically polarized. According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, public opinion remains more divided along partisan lines than along the lines of race, religion, age, gender, or educational background. It’s likely that you don’t have to look much further than your own social media feeds to see the evidence of this.

Scholars and journalists alike have blamed the rise of social media and its creation of “echo chambers”—curated feeds comprising posts that match our political beliefs—for increasing the polarization among people throughout the world.

But Donghee Jo, a who started this fall as an assistant professor of economics at Northeastern, said social media might not be the reason people have become more entrenched on the left or right. In fact, the truth might be just the opposite.

Earlier this year, Jo and his collaborators published a report, the findings of which flew in the face of the conventional theory that our ability to curate social news feeds composed mainly of people who share our worldviews has caused the country to become more politically polarized.

Read the full story at News at Northeastern.

More Stories

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor hold up a copy of the U.S. constitution that she carries with her Saturday, Sept. 17, 2005 at an open-air Immigration and Naturalization citizenship hearing in Gilbert, Ariz.

Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, remembered as “independent thinker” who often disappointed conservatives

Collage of headlines regarding police brutality and unlawful arrests of Black citizens.

New interpretive panel in Newburyport honors city’s Black abolitionists

Survivors of the 2022 Pakistan floods.

Climate loss-and-damage funding: how to get money to where it’s needed fast

Research Stories