Echo chamber (media)

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In media, an echo chamber is a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an "enclosed" system, often drowning out different or competing views.

How it works[edit]

Observers of journalism in the mass media describe an echo chamber effect in media discourse.[1][2] One purveyor of information will make a claim, which many like-minded people then repeat, overhear, and repeat again (often in an exaggerated or otherwise distorted form)[3] until most people assume that some extreme variation of the story is true.[4]

Spreading false information[edit]

Similarly, the term also refers to the media effect whereby an incorrect story (often a "smear" that first appears in a new-media domain) is reported through a biased channel, creating a media controversy that is subsequently reported in more reputable mainstream media outlets. These mainstream reports often use intermediary sources or commentary for reference and emphasize the controversy surrounding the original story rather than its factual merits. The overall effect often is to legitimize false claims in the public eye through sheer volume of reporting and media references, even if the majority of these reports acknowledges the factual inaccuracy of the original story.[citation needed]

How it impacts online communities[edit]

Participants in online communities may find their own opinions constantly echoed back to them, which reinforces their individual belief systems. This can create significant barriers to critical discourse within an online medium. The echo chamber effect may also impact a lack of recognition to large demographic changes in language and culture on the Internet if individuals only create, experience and navigate those online spaces that reinforce their world view.[vague][5] Another emerging term for this echoing and homogenizing effect on the Internet within social communities is cultural tribalism.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Moon the Messiah, and the Media Echo Chamber". Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  2. ^ Jamieson, Kathleen Hall; Joseph N. Cappella. Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-536682-4. 
  3. ^ Parry, Robert (2006-12-28). "The GOP's $3 Bn Propaganda Organ". The Baltimore Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  4. ^ "SourceWatch entry on media "Echo Chamber" effect". SourceWatch. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  5. ^ Wallsten, Kevin (2005-09-01). "Political Blogs: Is the Political Blogosphere an Echo Chamber?". American Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C.: Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley. 
  6. ^ Dwyer, Paul. "Building Trust with Corporate Blogs" (PDF). ICWSM’2007 Boulder, Colorado, USA. Texas A&M University. p. 7. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 

External links[edit]