Managing political differences in social media

Catherine Grevet, Loren Terveen, Eric Gilbert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most people associate with people like themselves, a process called homophily. Exposure to diversity, however, makes us more informed as individuals and as a society. In this paper, we investigate political disagreements on Facebook to explore the conditions under which diverse opinions can coexist online. Via a mixed methods approach comprising 103 survey responses and 13 interviews with politically engaged American social media users, we found that participants who perceived more differences with their friends engaged less on Facebook than those who perceived more homogeneity. Weak ties were particularly brittle to political disagreements, despite being the ties most likely to offer diversity. Finally, based on our findings we suggest potential design opportunities to bridge across ideological difference: 1) support exposure to weak ties; and 2) make common ground visible while friends converse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2014 - Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1400-1408
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781450325400
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2014 - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Feb 15 2014Feb 19 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW

Other

Other17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2014
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD
Period2/15/142/19/14

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • Homophily
  • Politics
  • Relationship management
  • Selfcensorship
  • Social media
  • Tie strength

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