January 19, 2022

Research Article: “Users Polarization on Facebook and YouTube”

The full text article linked to below was recently published by PLOS One.


Users Polarization on Facebook and Youtube


Alessandro Bessi
IUSS, Pavia, Italy, CSSLab, IMT Lucca, Italy

Fabiana Zollo
CSSLab, IMT Lucca, Italy

Michela Del Vicario
CSSLab, IMT Lucca, Italy

Michelangelo Puliga
CSSLab, IMT Lucca, Italy

Antonio Scala
CSSLab, IMT Lucca, Italy, ISC, CNR, Rome, Italy

Guido Caldarelli
CSSLab, IMT Lucca, Italy, ISC, CNR, Rome, Italy

Brian Uzzi
Northwestern University

Walter Quattrociocchi
CSSLab, IMT Lucca, Italy, ISC, CNR, Rome, Italy


PLoS ONE 11(8): e0159641


Users online tend to select information that support and adhere their beliefs, and to form polarized groups sharing the same view—e.g. echo chambers. Algorithms for content promotion may favour this phenomenon, by accounting for users preferences and thus limiting the exposure to unsolicited contents.

To shade light on this question, we perform a comparative study on how same contents (videos) are consumed on different online social media—i.e. Facebook and YouTube—over a sample of 12M of users.

Our findings show that content drives the emergence of echo chambers on both platforms. Moreover, we show that the users’ commenting patterns are accurate predictors for the formation of echo-chambers.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.