Political Uniformity Dominates Twitter, Leaving Medium's Potential Unfulfilled

Although Twitter is hailed as a democratic medium for the dissemination of marginalized political views, experts have found that it is mostly an echo chamber for the opinions expressed by elite television personalities. 

What's the Latest?


Although Twitter is hailed as a democratic medium for the dissemination of marginalized political views, experts have found that it is mostly an echo chamber for the opinions expressed by elite television personalities. In a new report conducted at Cornell University called "Rising Tides or Rising Stars? Dynamics of Shared Attention on Twitter during Media Events," researchers found that "during live media events when the largest number of people are paying attention, people move away from this deliberative potential by replacing existing interpersonal social dynamics with increased collective attention to existing 'stars.'"

What's the Big Idea?

On the one hand, social scientists hypothesize that as breaking news occurs, and a wide range of often contradictory reports emerge, people look to the integrity of established news outlets to deliver accurate news. On the other hand, researchers were disappointed that the promises of social media are going unfulfilled. "Social media has so much potential to improve the diversity of voices and quality of exchanges in political discussion by giving individuals the technological capability to compete with the mass media in disseminating information, setting agendas and framing conversation."

Read more at Phys.org

Photo credit: lculig/Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

Top Video Splash
  • When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
  • When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.