By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press
NEEPAWA, Man. — Left versus right, urban versus rural, new immigrants versus established Canadians, we are becoming an increasingly divided society. Along religious lines, political lines, age and gender, we are becoming increasingly polarized. While a relatively small group of publishers and news media used to keep the majority of Canadians on the same track, on the world-wide-web, fringe beliefs are now as easily accessible as ones commonly held. While the internet has put the world at our fingertips, by offering a myriad of viewpoints, it has also helped to divide us.
Polarization and divisiveness is the end result of a number of factors. The first is that we tend to look for news and stories that support our existing beliefs. This summer, a team of journalists released a study called “Inside The Partisan Fight For Your News Feed.” Among the findings were just how little people cross the ideological divide. The report included the findings of researchers at King’s College and University College London, in England, which looked at the upstream traffic of partisan websites, that is, the sites previously visited. They were able to get analytics for 483 sites and it showed a clear pattern of traffic to partisan websites coming from other partisan websites.