At what point do extremist views become a danger to society?
The graph above represents how the polarization looks even more extreme when the accounts are plotted according to their “valence,” a measure of how politically homogeneous their connections are. A valence of 0 means an account follows or is followed only by progressive accounts, while 1 means it’s connected only to conservative accounts. The center is called “The silence of the center” because the center of the political universe is far quieter than the polarized wings. This plot of average daily tweets (vertical axis) from the network seen in the charts above shows that the extreme partisans on both sides are screaming while the center whispers.
Although this graph only talks about politics, we can see that in the extremes, people are more actively creating, consuming and spreading views and content reflecting their point of view. The question that I wanted to post for myself is, at what point do extremist views become a danger to society?
To start, I will commence by explaining what is filter bubbles. The term “filter bubbles” refers to the results of the algorithms that dictate what we encounter online. According to Eli Pariser, those algorithms create “a unique universe of information for each of us … which fundamentally alters the way we encounter ideas and information.”
I made a graph that represents in the ‘x’ on the left, we have the moderate thinkers and, on the right, we find the radical thinkers. On the ‘y’ axis on the bottom a wide filter bubble and on top a narrow filter bubble. I also divided the graph by four quadrants which describe four different ways that people use their views. The idea of this diagram was to understand how dangerous each quadrant could be. If you put together a group of people with radical point of views, with narrow filter bubbles and you add to that personalized ads, vulnerable targeting and propaganda, there is where it can become dangerous. But who has the fault? who can do something about it?