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What Ideological Bubble? Turns Out Liberals and Conservatives Mainly Follow the Same News Sources.

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The news diets of the most liberal and most conservative Americans “generally [show] more overlap than divergence,” the researchers write.

There is a justifiable fear that the splintering of news sources, first by cable television networks and then by the Internet, is leading many people to live in ideological bubbles, with little access to arguments from opposing political ideologies. While such self-siloing is clearly a problem, a new study suggests the situation isn’t as dire as we might think.

The news diets of the most liberal and most conservative Americans “generally [show] more overlap than divergence,” a New York University research team led by Gregory Eady and Jonathan Nagler writes in the journal Sage Open. These findings refute the simple idea of “echo chambers in which the majority of people’s sources of news are mutually exclusive, and from opposite poles.”

The researchers analyzed the Twitter accounts of a representative survey of 1,496 Americans, noting every account that each of them follows (642,345 in all). They then divided the respondents into five groups by ideology, focusing primarily on the 20 percent who were most conservative, and the 20 percent who were most liberal.





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