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Dr. Samara Klar Will Be Visiting the UA Political Science Department
November 7, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Dr. Samara Klar will be visiting the University of Alabama Political Science Department on Wednesday, November 7th to give a talk. The talk will be held in room 346 from 12:00pm-1:30pm.
Most Americans receive their political news from social media platforms. These platforms algorithmically determine the order in which news is presented, usually relying an article’s popularity (i.e. number of likes, shares, and comments) to determine its ranking. To what extent does sorting the news by popularity influence people’s attitudes toward politics and toward each other? With two large, nationally representative samples of adults and a novel experimental design, we find that ranking news articles by their popularity leads to heightened perceptions of media bias and increased reluctance to learn about and express political views on social media. With behavioral measures, we find that sorting by popularity exacerbates the tendency to “like” news confirming one’s own viewpoint. Overall, our study holds important implications for how the curation of news on social media can change – and even polarize – our political preferences.