Samuel J. Abrams at AEI:

Despite statements by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg that he was changing the mission of his company to “bring the world closer together,” data from the recent AEI survey on Community and Society make it abundantly clear that social media is not having a transformative effect in promoting a real diversity of ideas as so many internet evangelists like Zuckerberg are claiming. In Zuckerberg’s words: “We need to stay connected with people we already know and care about, but we also need to meet new people with new perspectives … we will not accomplish this mission ourselves, [only] by empowering people around the world to build communities and bring people together.” While I praise Zuckerberg’s goals, as a professor who cares deeply about viewpoint diversity and the critical role of different ideas in forging a stronger society, the reality is that social media is not expanding the political views of Americans in general, and those of Gen Zers in particular. As I wrote earlier, the “AEI data reveals that social media has helped created an echo chamber around extreme [views].”