Desegregating Network Neighborhoods

Political polarization is increasingly recognized as the Internet’s main threat against democratic processes28,29: information theorists have linked the Internet’s decentralized structure to the asymmetric polarization of political groups23; cultural researchers have revealed how polarization facilitates fake news circulation30; and political scientists have shown how it excludes communities from partaking in political dialogues9. Platforms might not deliberately support polarization, but sociologists have shown how homophily (the assumption that people prefer to associate with others who are similar31, as a design principle for networks, heightens political sorting through the creation of online “echo chambers”32,33. As online communities become more homogeneous, the Internet’s impact on them becomes more disparate; platforms amplify gender and racial biases, and exacerbate social and economic inequalities34-38.

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"With an unabashed embrace of the empirical, contributors assert something about how space is experienced." - Akiva Blander 

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9. Ireland, S. 2018. Fake news alerts: Teaching news literacy… Ref Librarian 59.3:122-128.

23. Benkler Y et al. 2017. CJR. www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-study.php.

28. Baldwin-Philippi J. 2018. The technological performance of… New Media Soc 21.2:1-22.

29. George, C. 2018. HateSpin. Disinformation and hate campaigns. Asian Jurist: October 2018.

30. Tucker J et al. 2018. Social media… SSRN. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3144139.

31. McPherson M et al. 2001. Birds of a Feather: Homophily in... Annu Rev Sociol 27:415-444.

32. Faris R et al. 2017. Partisanship... http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33759251.

33. Settle J. 2018. Frenemies: How Social Media Polarizes America. Cambridge Univ Press.

34. Barocas S, Selbst A. 2016. Big Data’s Disparate Impact. California Law Rev 104:671-732.

35. Cohen C, Kahne J. 2012. Participatory Politics, Youth & Participatory Politics Res. Network.

36. Kahne, J et al. 2013. Youth, New Media... Youth & Participatory Politics Research Network.

37. Noble, SU. 2018. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. NYU.

38. Whittaker M et al. 2018. AI Now Report 2018. AI Now Institute, New York University.

39. Easley D, Kleinberg J. 2010. Networks, Crowds, and Market. Cambridge University Press.

40. Allen D. 2013. A Connected Society. Soundings 53:103-113.

41. Granovetter M. 1973. The Strength of Weak Ties. Am J Sociology 72.6: 1360-1380.

42. Bowles S et al. 2014. Group Inequality. J European Economic Assoc 12.1:129-152.