When The Wall Street Journal debuted its “Blue Feed, Red Feed” feature last month, the data seemed to confirm what surveys have long suggested: Americans are very good at ignoring points of view other than their own. Using data from a2015 Facebook study that highlighted websites preferred by liberals and conservatives, the tool scrapes popular posts to simulate how common news subjects—Hillary Clinton, abortion, Harambe the gorilla—play differently on the newsfeeds of users with divergent ideologies.
(Article by Andrew McGill, republished from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/loving-the-lamestream-media-but-in-denial/485648/)
As California prepares to vote on Tuesday, the “blue” feed currently features apost from Americans Against the Tea Party lamenting Bernie Sanders’s lagging delegate count. On the “red” feed, a Breitbart post chortles about Clinton’s struggle to defeat the Vermont senator. Facebook’s eager-to-please algorithm amplifies this ideological segregation online, but it’s ultimately made possible by plainly goofy partisan sites, like Western Journalism and Liberal America, that have proliferated in recent years. The long arc of this election has bent toward partisanship and the loss of common spaces online, and that is exacerbated by each side’s retreat into its preferred news sources.