A former Google data scientist says political echo chambers are much more apparent offline than on the internet
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, New York Times writer, former Google data scientist, and author of "Everybody Lies" reveals how employers could use online data in their hiring practices. Following is a transcript of the video.
People think that the internet is dividing the country, that liberals are just hanging out with liberals and conservatives are just hanging out with conservatives and nobody’s hearing the opposing points of view. This is just dead wrong in the data. It is true that online you’re more likely to come across people who share your political views than people who have opposing political views. Liberals go to news sites that are more visited by liberals and they have Facebook friends who are more likely to be liberal and for conservatives it’s exactly reversed.
But, what people forget is this is also true offline. That people’s friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers are all far more likely than average to share their political views. So actually you’re more likely to come across someone with opposing political views online than you are offline. One of the reasons for this is if you think of your Facebook friends, some of them are not your closest friends, they’re maybe a third cousin who you barely sort of kind of know, or a high school acquaintance that you’ve mostly lost touch with, and these people you’re not going to necessarily go to a bar and get a drink with, you’re not going to invite to a dinner party, you’re not going to go attend yoga class together, but you do see their Facebook posts and they frequently have the opposite political views as you do.