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Stanford researchers say users who drop Facebook less polarized, less informed

Original post made on Feb 5, 2019

Researchers at Stanford University last week announced the findings from a study of nearly 3,000 Facebook users showing those who deactivated their accounts before an election were less informed, but also less likely to be politically polarized.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 9:05 AM

Comments (9)

13 people like this
Posted by Maggie
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Maggie is a registered user.

Let's pay Americans to stop watching Fox/Fake News


1 person likes this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Darin is a registered user.

I know people who have given up Facebook for Lent. It seems to be a helpful discipline for them.

I've never done it myself, but I do find myself using Facebook less before elections, and whenever other "newsworthy" events send the signal-to-noise ratio into the toilet.


13 people like this
Posted by Humble observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 5, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Interesting that the whole study (as I understand it from this article, anyway) occured *within* the subset of the population that accepts the idea of using Facebook at all.

Had the study entailed a "control" group that consciously and deliberately opts out of using a social network whose entire business model is predicated on getting users to post their personal details, then vending that information to advertisers, I wonder what further insight might have ensued.

(A friend of mine manages a high-tech firm that was a potential Facebook customer and has repeatedly described the shock, at least at the time which was some years ago, of seeing what Facebook customers think of as private information laid "wide open, for sale to any paying customer.")


8 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on Feb 5, 2019 at 4:15 pm

To quote Mark Twain, Those who don't read the paper are uninformed, and those who do are misinformed. Only the technology has changed today.
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


109 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

I was using FB about 45 minutes a day when I stopped using it four years ago. That's more than a thousand hours of my life returned to me, and I have not missed FB at all.


56 people like this
Posted by Liberalguns
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 5, 2019 at 5:03 pm

Liberalguns is a registered user.

@Maggie

Just a little reality check here, do you believe that the First Amendment gave Americans the right of freedom of Speech? Yes, the answer is relevant.

"Let's pay Americans to stop watching Fox/Fake News"

Maggie, there is very little difference between Fox news and any of the other major news outlets. On most news stories all of the networks are equally incorrect or biased or lying almost word for word of each other.

On certain specific issues ALL of the major news networks report virtually identical FAKE NEWS and the general public has no clue they are being lied to because we have heard the same fake news for so long and so many times that we no longer even ask ourselves if if makes any sense.

If anyone on the TV news ever uses the term "common sense" you can be certain that what they are talking about is neither common nor sense, it's just been said so many times we just assume it must be common sense.

The actual difference between Fox and the other major news networks is that Fox has one very narrow set of issues where Fox is biased in one direction and all the other news networks have a slightly different narrow set of issues where they are biased in the opposite direction.

Fox is no better nor worse than any of the other major news networks.

Maggie, I also want you to recognize the wisdom of Mark Twain:
"Those who don't read the paper are uninformed, and those who do are misinformed."

Add to that fact that the popular fictional media has it's agenda and "style guides" that are designed to feed the public a certain set of false beliefs and you get a badly misinformed public.


228 people like this
Posted by Liberalguns
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 5, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Liberalguns is a registered user.

@Bob

In the 1960's and 70's it was:
I have the right to freedom of speech to speak my mind no matter how offensive you feel my words are.
I have a right to "do my own thing" because my rights are more important than your feelings about my lifestyle choices.

Today it's:
I have a right to prevent YOU from speaking anything I don't want to hear.
I have the right to limit your lifestyle choices because my feelings are more important than your rights.

"Those who don't read the paper are uninformed, and those who do are misinformed."

Excellent relevant quote and just as true today.

"Where is your tolerance for opinions other than your own?"

When I was a teen, I was the only "out" atheist in my school, and plenty of people were very angry about that, but even the most rabid believers were willing to actually allow me to speak my view and LISTEN and then debate or discuss the issue.

On a side-note, I will admit that when the Principal found out I was an atheist he called my mother in to explain why she had raised me as an atheist and what sort of trouble (law-suits) she had planned for the school? She apologized and said she had "raised me in the church" and tried until she was blue in the face to get me to have faith, but it never stuck.

Today, being an "out" atheist is no big deal, but there are still issues that attract not only haters, but advocates of violence against those with a different view of certain issues and silencing people by any means required to prevent people from even presenting their thoughts.
And debate? Discussion? Forget about it!

Bob, the Baby Boomers used to say:
"Don't trust anyone over 30!"

Then the Boomers FORGOT all about that warning once they themselves became "over 30" and became untrustworthy themselves.

Boomers should have heeded the much older wisdom:
"Choose your enemies wisely, for you will become THEM!"

The Boomers became just THEIR PARENTS and use all the same methods they hated their parents for using.

For all the Boomers and post-boomer generations talk of "tolerance" for "all", what they actually practice is "tolerance only for those who agree with me and disagree with anything the "Greatest Generation" believed in and anyone who does not agree with me should be attacked in every way possible to make them change their minds or go away.

As a life-long liberal (proper meaning of the word) myself, I have been more and more disgusted over the decades to see people who claim to be liberals becoming the most intolerant, narrow-minded and hate-filled people in the USA.

When I was a kid the Boomers believed that the freedom of speech was sacred and all points of view should have equal access to be heard, these days so-called "Liberals" or "Progressives" are actively preventing anyone with a different view point from even being able to say what their point of view is, let alone having an actual discussion about it.


6 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 5, 2019 at 7:04 pm

Liberalguns, great message, sad that those who are doing exactly what you speak of can’t see it......forest thru the trees?


8 people like this
Posted by Liberalguns
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 6, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Liberalguns is a registered user.

@Wow
"Liberalguns, great message, sad that those who are doing exactly what you speak of can’t see it......forest thru the trees?"

Hey Wow, thanks.
I think the problem goes way deeper than "can't see the forest for the trees".

Social media has played a rapidly increasing negative role in all this, but they are not the biggest problem (though they are working towards that title).

One of the few advantages of getting older is having first-hand long-view perspective of the past. Fictional media has systematically "deconstructed" everything that was considered good/normal/worthwhile by the Greatest Generation and replaced it with the blanket value judgement that anything "different" is automatically "better" and anything "normal" is automatically evil.

Our schools have also piled-on propaganda and made it impossible for parents to know what their kids are being taught. Parents used to be able to read their kid's textbooks and provide an alternative point of view. These days physical textbooks are slowly being eliminated.
Then there is "Common Core", don't get me started on that!

When I was a kid a "conservative" was a person who believed that it is our duty as Americans (gov official or not) to:
Protect the clearly "good" (like the US Constitution for one).
Preserve existing institutions and due processes until it's clear that a specific change will be better (rather than just different).
Properly implement changes to things that are shown to be bad and threatens the other priorities (instead of taking short-cuts).

Look up the DACA and "Executive orders" problem, for one example of how NOT to solve an actual problem that still needs solving.
The ends do NOT justify the means. Usually the wrong means will prevent any actual solution.

A liberal was someone who was:
Always about increasing freedom of choice for all.
Always open to consider changes to anything and encourage changes where appropriate.
Always open to all points of view, even offensive ones.
Always rejecting of any method to impose any set of values on anyone.
Just plain open-minded.

Unfortunately, what has evolved in my lifetime are two groups who have no actual principals beyond defeating each other regardless of what they have to do to defeat their "enemy" or how much damage they do in the process.


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