Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Social media stifle dissent

THE WEEK THAT WAS

WINNER: Tech Data

Tampa Bay's biggest public company by revenue doubles its net income in the second quarter, beating expectations.

LOSER: CSX

The railroad giant apologizes for train stoppages that snarled Dade City traffic and were avoidable with better handling of required CSX shift changes.

Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, have the effect of tamping down diversity of opinion and stifling debate about public affairs. It makes people less likely to voice opinions, particularly when they think their views differ from those of their friends, according to a report by researchers at Pew Research Center and Rutgers University. The researchers also found that those who use social media regularly are more reluctant to express dissenting views in the offline world. The Internet, it seems, is contributing to the polarization of America, as people surround themselves with people who think like them and hesitate to say anything different. Internet companies magnify the effect, by tweaking their algorithms to show us more content from people who are similar to us. Claire Cain Miller, New York Times

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