Users Polarization on Facebook and Youtube

PLoS One. 2016 Aug 23;11(8):e0159641. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159641. eCollection 2016.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Internet*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Social Media*
  • Social Networking*

Grant support

Funding for this work was provided by EU FET project MULTIPLEX nr. 317532, SIMPOL nr. 610704, DOLFINS nr. 640772, SOBIGDATA nr. 654024. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.