Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rethinking Information Diversity in Networks

Eytan Bakshy, Facebook Data, Jan. 17, 2012

From the summary: "Some claim that social networks act like echo chambers in which people only consume and share information from likeminded close friends, stifling the spread of diverse information. Our study paints a different picture of the world. Instead, we found that even though people are more likely to consume and share information that comes from close contacts that they interact with frequently (like discussing a photo from last night’s party), the vast majority of information comes from contacts that they interact with infrequently.  These distant contacts are also more likely to share novel information, demonstrating that social networks can act as a powerful medium for sharing new ideas, highlighting new products and discussing current events. The research suggests that Facebook isn’t the echo chamber that some might expect – online social networks actually increase the spread of novel information and diverse viewpoints." Read more