Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2795110
 


 



Echo Chambers on Facebook


Walter Quattrociocchi


IMT Lucca

Antonio Scala


CNR - Intitute for Complex Systems

Cass R. Sunstein


Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

June 13, 2016


Abstract:     
Do echo chambers actually exist on social media? By focusing on how both Italian and US Facebook users relate to two distinct narratives (involving conspiracy theories and science), we offer quantitative evidence that they do. The explanation involves users’ tendency to promote their favored narratives and hence to form polarized groups. Confirmation bias helps to account for users’ decisions about whether to spread content, thus creating informational cascades within identifiable communities. At the same time, aggregation of favored information within those communities reinforces selective exposure and group polarization. We provide empirical evidence that because they focus on their preferred narratives, users tend to assimilate only confirming claims and to ignore apparent refutations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: Facebook, conspiracy theories, cascades, polarization, echo chambers


Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: June 15, 2016  

Suggested Citation

Quattrociocchi, Walter and Scala, Antonio and Sunstein, Cass R., Echo Chambers on Facebook (June 13, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2795110

Contact Information

Walter Quattrociocchi (Contact Author)
IMT Lucca ( email )
Lucca
Italy
3392922276 (Phone)
Antonio Scala
CNR - Intitute for Complex Systems ( email )
Rome
Italy
HOME PAGE: http://https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=ycmKlR8AAAAJ
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 9,223
Downloads: 1,717
Download Rank: 6,725