Recent Facebook research points to a black hole in the platform

Emre Çitak
Jul 28, 2023

A recent Facebook research has found that the platform's Pages and Groups are major drivers of ideological segregation.

This means that users are more likely to be exposed to content that confirms their existing beliefs, rather than content that challenges them.

This can lead to echo chambers, where users are only exposed to information that reinforces their own views, creating a black hole for new ideas and points of view.

Facebook research echo chambers
Facebook Pages and Groups are creating an echo chamber - Image courtesy of Freepik

Different views are the essence of the debate

Pages and Groups are often created by and for people with similar political views. This means that the content that is shared in these sections of Facebook is more likely to be ideologically homogeneous.

For example, a conservative user who joins a conservative Facebook group is likely to see a lot of content that supports conservative viewpoints. This can create an echo chamber where the user is only exposed to information that confirms their existing beliefs.

Echo chambers

Echo chambers can have a number of negative consequences. For example, they can lead to increased polarization and extremism. They can also make it difficult for people to understand and appreciate different viewpoints.

This can be a problem in a democracy, where it is important for people to be able to have open and civil discussions about important issues.

Facebook research echo chambers
It is unlikely that a community of like-minded people will come up with different ideas - Image courtesy of Freepik

The spread of misinformation is quick

Meta controls Facebook with many complex algorithms like facial recognition systems and Feed ranking systems. Another one of these is Meta's third-party fact-checking system.

The study also found that a "far larger" share of conservative Facebook news content was determined to be false by Meta's third-party fact-checking system. This suggests that conservative users are exposed to more online political misinformation than their left-leaning counterparts.

This is a serious problem, as misinformation can have a significant impact on people's beliefs and behavior.

Featured image credit: Image by bycgzr on Freepik.


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  1. Anonymous said on July 30, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    “they can lead to increased polarization and extremism”

    Those terms you use here seem quite reasonable and well-intentioned but contain several heavily poisonous loads in what they actually convey implicitly.

    For example, it’s equating some of the fascist watchdogs of the violent capitalist dictatorships we live in with those who oppose it, under the general umbrella of “extremism”. It gets even more pathetic when that term of left-wing extremism has become routinely extended to mere social-democrat politics.

    As for that stupid concept of “polarization” as something to fight against, I don’t get how everyone seemingly agreeing is supposed to fight “echo chambers”. And it gets worse when it actually means everyone seemingly agreeing with the core values of the monstrous capitalist dictatorship, repainted as something “moderate” or “centrist”. Sometimes it’s even reduced to bare stinky bourgeois nationalism, “let’s all agree against the enemies of America”.

    On the one hand it’s negating that there is a permanent very violent class war of the minority of exploiters who control the state in practice against the exploited masses, such that disagreements can’t ever be solved by consensus and polite discussions, and we exploited would simply be supposed to accept that violence quietly. On the other hand the typical two-parties systems this vocabulary is attached to has nothing to do with the position of the class front line.

    “Meta’s third-party fact-checking system.”

    The US department of defense and other such trustworthy and “progressive” entities. Surely it’s about censoring conservatives as you’re implying to get those turds some sympathy.

  2. Rex said on July 29, 2023 at 5:11 am

    Implying there’s any serious debate possible instead of partisanship, moreover when people simply prefer to censor or report others over differences of opinion, or their retarded algorithm bans you for 30 days because it can’t parse nuance, irony or sarcasm. Not worth the trouble to engage with others who won’t debate in good faith so echo chambers are a natural result.
    On the old anonymous by default internet, there were no tools to harass others or get them banned; you were forced to engage purely on what was said and your choices were to ignore or at the most block someone if you didn’t like their views.

  3. Russ said on July 29, 2023 at 1:20 am

    To be clear, use of the word “misinformation” can be, and has often been proven to be, a big fat red herring. Especially when information has been politicized. Sources of information, even when equally qualified, are sometimes highly divergent.

    Let’s not forget: Facebook often and gladly flags user’s postings as “misinformation”, but Zuckerberg admitted before a U.S. Senate hearing in 2021 that Facebook’s third-party fact-checking system is only “opinion”.

  4. Sonny said on July 29, 2023 at 12:03 am

    If we wish to remain a free and prosperous society is it our duty to acquaint ourselves with the facts of history and the documents that form the basis and principles of the Liberty and prosperity we have enjoyed (albeit imperfectly) – chief among these are the “Bill of Rights”; the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

    The very first amendment is the Freedom of Speech which is manifested in our political, business, social, and religious associations. Without these things we are not free at all – and the worse offender is actually Facebook.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the statement that “…diversity, pluralism, contradictory debates are essential, for individuals, for society, for humanity, is the real danger not in the lack of contradictory echo chambers rather than in their very existence.”

  5. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2023 at 11:52 am

    Doesn’t this, information that reinforces one’s own views, the concern of each of us rather than the fault of a news drivers, hosts?

    Many media are politically oriented, some have always and continue to highlight and spread ideological segregation, others carry humanist, progressive ideas.

    If diversity, pluralism, contradictory debates are essential, for individuals, for society, for humanity, is the real danger not in the lack of contradictory echo chambers rather than in their very existence? Newspapers for instance have and always have had, for many of them, their orientation signature.

    As I see it the culprit of narrow minds is all in the conjunction of lack of sources together with my very seek of contradictions : I must search for what appears contradictory to my beliefs, which of course requires the diversity of available sources. This is true IMO for all areas of information, be it news, be it literature, arts … and unfortunately many of us tend to be concerned mainly with what satisfies our own beliefs, preferences, aspirations : I’m convinced that struggling for objectivity includes struggling to free ourselves from intellectual comfort, and that includes auto-satisfaction. Doubt is the key-word, doubt, bot skepticism.

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