In discussions of news media, an echo chamber refers to situations in which beliefs are amplified or reinforced by communication and repetition inside a closed system and insulated from rebuttal. By participating in an echo chamber, people are able to seek out information that reinforces their existing views without encountering opposing views, potentially resulting in an unintended exercise in confirmation bias. Echo chambers may increase social and political polarization and extremism. The term is a metaphor based on an acoustic echo chamber, in which sounds reverberate in a hollow enclosure. Another emerging term for this echoing and homogenizing effect within social media communities on the Internet is cultural tribalism. Many scholars note the effects that echo chambers can have on citizens' stances and viewpoints, and specifically implications has for politics. However, some studies have suggested that the effects of echo chambers are weaker than often assumed.
- 1 Concept
- 2 Empirical research
- 3 Difficulties of researching processes
- 4 Echo chambers vs epistemic bubbles
- 5 Implications of echo chambers
- 6 Examples
- 7 Countermeasures
- 8 See also
- 9 References
The Internet has expanded the variety and amount of accessible political information. On the positive side, this may create a more pluralistic form of public debate; on the negative side, greater access to information may lead to selective exposure to ideologically supportive channels. In an extreme "echo chamber", one purveyor of information will make a claim, which many like-minded people then repeat, overhear, and repeat again (often in an exaggerated or otherwise distorted form) until most people assume that some extreme variation of the story is true.
The echo chamber effect occurs online when a harmonious group of people amalgamate and develop tunnel vision. Participants in online discussions may find their opinions constantly echoed back to them, which reinforces their individual belief systems due to the declining exposure to other's opinions. Their... ...read more