If Your News Feed Has Become A Political Echo Chamber, It’s Your Own Damn Fault Says Facebook

Social networks are no longer solely about communicating with friends and family, they're also platforms for digesting news. You can even subscribe to daily news feeds from Facebook to help stay current on what's happening around the world. However, as we increasingly turn to social networks for news and civic discussions, are we also creating so-called "echo chambers" in which we're only seeing information from people who share the same views as us? Facebook says no.

The world's largest social playground conducted research in hopes of answering that very question, and one of the things it found, generally speaking, we have Facebook friends who claim opposing political ideologies, and the content in our News Feeds reflect those diverse views.

"While News Feed surfaces content that is slightly more aligned with an individual's own ideology (based on that person's actions on Facebook), who they friend and what content they click on are more consequential than the News Feed ranking in terms of how much diverse content they encounter," Facebook stated in a blog post.


If you're like the average Facebook user, then around 23 percent of your friends will claim an opposing political stance. And of the hard news content that friends share, nearly 30 percent of it cuts across ideological lines.

Facebook goes into great detail about how it collected its data, but the bottom line is, the echo chamber doesn't inherently exist, or so the research found.

"By showing that people are exposed to a substantial amount of content from friends with opposing viewpoints, our findings contrast concerns that people might 'list and speak only to the like-minded' while online," Facebook says.

In other words, you have to really work at narrowing the political and ideological viewpoints that show up on your News Feed to match those of your own.