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      Echo chamber effects on short video platforms

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      1 , 2 , 1 , , 2 ,
      Scientific Reports
      Nature Publishing Group UK
      Scientific data, Information technology

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          Abstract

          In recent years, short videos have become an increasingly vital source of information. To compete for users’ attention, short video platforms have been overusing algorithmic technology, making the group polarization intensify, which is likely to push users into the homogeneous “echo chamber”. However, echo chambers can contribute to the spread of misleading information, false news, or rumors, which have negative social impacts. Therefore, it is necessary to explore echo chamber effects in short video platforms. Moreover, the communication paradigms between users and feed algorithms greatly vary across short video platforms. This paper investigated echo chamber effects of three popular short video platforms (Douyin, TikTok, and Bilibili) using social network analysis and explored how user features influenced the generation of echo chambers. We quantified echo chamber effects through two primary ingredients: selective exposure and homophily, in both platform and topic dimensions. Our analyses indicate that the gathering of users into homogeneous groups dominates online interactions on Douyin and Bilibili. We performed performance comparison of echo chamber effects and found that echo chamber members tend to display themselves to attract the attention of their peers and that cultural differences can prevent the development of echo chambers. Our findings are of great value in designing targeted management strategies to prevent the spread of misleading information, false news, or rumors.

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          Most cited references43

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          The spreading of misinformation online.

          The wide availability of user-provided content in online social media facilitates the aggregation of people around common interests, worldviews, and narratives. However, the World Wide Web (WWW) also allows for the rapid dissemination of unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories that often elicit rapid, large, but naive social responses such as the recent case of Jade Helm 15--where a simple military exercise turned out to be perceived as the beginning of a new civil war in the United States. In this work, we address the determinants governing misinformation spreading through a thorough quantitative analysis. In particular, we focus on how Facebook users consume information related to two distinct narratives: scientific and conspiracy news. We find that, although consumers of scientific and conspiracy stories present similar consumption patterns with respect to content, cascade dynamics differ. Selective exposure to content is the primary driver of content diffusion and generates the formation of homogeneous clusters, i.e., "echo chambers." Indeed, homogeneity appears to be the primary driver for the diffusion of contents and each echo chamber has its own cascade dynamics. Finally, we introduce a data-driven percolation model mimicking rumor spreading and we show that homogeneity and polarization are the main determinants for predicting cascades' size.
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            Tweeting From Left to Right: Is Online Political Communication More Than an Echo Chamber?

            We estimated ideological preferences of 3.8 million Twitter users and, using a data set of nearly 150 million tweets concerning 12 political and nonpolitical issues, explored whether online communication resembles an "echo chamber" (as a result of selective exposure and ideological segregation) or a "national conversation." We observed that information was exchanged primarily among individuals with similar ideological preferences in the case of political issues (e.g., 2012 presidential election, 2013 government shutdown) but not many other current events (e.g., 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, 2014 Super Bowl). Discussion of the Newtown shootings in 2012 reflected a dynamic process, beginning as a national conversation before transforming into a polarized exchange. With respect to both political and nonpolitical issues, liberals were more likely than conservatives to engage in cross-ideological dissemination; this is an important asymmetry with respect to the structure of communication that is consistent with psychological theory and research bearing on ideological differences in epistemic, existential, and relational motivation. Overall, we conclude that previous work may have overestimated the degree of ideological segregation in social-media usage.
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              The echo chamber effect on social media

              Significance We explore the key differences between the main social media platforms and how they are likely to influence information spreading and the formation of echo chambers. To assess the different dynamics, we perform a comparative analysis on more than 100 million pieces of content concerning controversial topics (e.g., gun control, vaccination, abortion) from Gab, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. The analysis focuses on two main dimensions: 1) homophily in the interaction networks and 2) bias in the information diffusion toward like-minded peers. Our results show that the aggregation in homophilic clusters of users dominates online dynamics. However, a direct comparison of news consumption on Facebook and Reddit shows higher segregation on Facebook.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                liufm@sdnu.edu.cn
                lei.gao@csiro.au
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                18 April 2023
                18 April 2023
                2023
                : 13
                : 6282
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.410585.d, ISNI 0000 0001 0495 1805, Business School, , Shandong Normal University, ; Ji’nan, 250014 China
                [2 ]GRID grid.1016.6, ISNI 0000 0001 2173 2719, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), ; Waite Campus, Urrbrae, SA 5064 Australia
                Article
                33370
                10.1038/s41598-023-33370-1
                10111082
                37072484
                73085df8-7df4-44a3-bc7f-ef634afd2dd6
                © The Author(s) 2023

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 14 November 2022
                : 12 April 2023
                Funding
                Funded by: Shandong Natural Science Foundation
                Award ID: ZR2020MG003
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: Special Project for internet Development of Social Science Planning Special Program of Shandong Province
                Award ID: 17CHLJ23
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100012456, National Social Science Fund of China;
                Award ID: 21BGL001
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001809, National Natural Science Foundation of China;
                Award ID: 71701115
                Award Recipient :
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                © The Author(s) 2023

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                scientific data,information technology
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                scientific data, information technology

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