Foreign Policy Blogs

Birds of a Political Feather

"Other points of view? I can't hear you!"

"Other points of view?*LALALALALALA* I can't hear you!"

Birds of a political feather flock together. That’s the takeaway from a political science study that shows that people with a partisan slant get their news from partisan sources that reinforce their pre-existing views – e.g., moonbats follow DailyKos and the Huffington Post, wingnuts read Free Republic and the Drudge Report while watching Fox.

As Evgeny Morozov has argued, the Internet does not necessarily lead us to a universal socratic dialogue on the role of politics. If you always surround yourself with others that agree with you, the echo chamber effect means other ideas and points of view have a hard time getting in.

For most Internet users under thuggish governments, this suggests that even if they can go forth and find subversive information, they are not particularly likely to want to since they will tend to seek out information that reinforces their existing world view.