Are you living in a social media bubble? If you were, would you know it?
Recently Elon Musk rebranded Twitter, now calling it X. Since then there has been an uproar of people questioning Musk’s decision. While Musk has been working hard to create a social media platform that would truly allow freedom of speech, there are many that feel he has a political agenda.
Different social media platforms have now become known for the CEO’s political views. The new Threads is another good example. Mark Zuckerberg, part of Meta AKA Facebook, recently announced the Twitter like app, Threads (Company and Meta, 2023). It seems as though Threads is the hottest app that promotes free speech with no ads and continues to draw in lots of attention.
Between the two apps, X and Threads, users have simultaneously become connected and divided. According to the KSL News Twitter has been reported to become more ”right winged” with users sharing what they want, no matter how hurtful (Twitter Vs. Threads Showdown Highlights Political Differences on Content Moderation, 2023). Threads on the other hand has been reported to be more of a welcoming social media “environment” for users (Twitter Vs. Threads Showdown Highlights Political Differences on Content Moderation, 2023). However, this may be the case for some, it is not everyone’s experience. Many users are expressing how they love the changes Musk has made to the X (Twitter) platform and are afraid that Threads will become a ”liberal app” (Twitter Vs. Threads Showdown Highlights Political Differences on Content Moderation, 2023). As things continue to unfold it seems as though users will choose which app they will primarily use depending on the group of people they feel more like minded with.
What a great example of homophily.
Learn more about homophily and how the algorithm can create the friendships that we currently have from my previous blog post linked here. https://www.sarahjpeters.org/post/lions-tigers-the-algorithm-oh-my
Social Media Risks
Unfortunately, with users becoming more and more divided because of their political views, cyber bulling is running ramped. Users are wanting freedom of speech to apply to their online activity, however, as Musk opened the gates it wasn’t just good things that were being spoken. Many users began spreading rumors, mocking celebrities more ruthlessly, and fake news has now become what many users are absorbing when scrolling on the platform.
In addition, the more a user looks up information about one specific topic the algorith begins showing them more and more of only that specific topic. It becomes easy for the user to ”drown” in a one sided informaiton pool and feel as though the entire world things just like them. When they meet a person IRL (in real life) and hear of them believing something different it acts as a shock.
Social Media Safety
Thankfully there are things you can do to protect yourself and use social media in a healthy manner.
Instagram and Facebook now offer fact checkers and will automatically block something that it believes is spreading faults news. However, it is not always accurate. Just the other day I, personally, came across a post that was marked as ”faults news” on Instragram. After clicking past the warning and viewing the video for myself I was shocked to see that it was actually something that I new to be true. I quickly went to the comment section and found that I wasn’t the only one. We were all wondering why something true was marked as ”false information”. What I learned… I need to fact check everything, including the fact checkers. It is important to also not only research the things that we agree with. We also need to be reading things that we may disagree with. Without taking in to count all of the viewpoints we can not possibly use critical thinking to assess the information.
What about you?
How do you percieve social media? Do you notice the different groups of like minded people, aka ”clicks”? Have you found yourself falling into any specific group?
Company, F., & Meta. (2023, July 5). Introducing Threads: a new way to share with text.
Twitter vs. Threads showdown highlights political differences on content moderation. (2023,
July 7). KSL.com. https://www.ksl.com/article/50681971/twitter-vs-threads