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What really puts the lack of segregation on the internet in perspective is comparing it to segregation in other parts of our lives. Using data from the General Social Survey, Gentzkow and Shapiro found that all these numbers were lower than the chances that two people on the same news website have different politics.
Gentzkow and Shapiro could repeat their analysis for various offline interactions. In other words, you are more likely to come across someone with opposing views online than you are offline. There are two factors that limit political segregation on the internet.
It isn’t just Viking Maiden88 hanging around the Times site. In fact, when you compare Stormfront users to people who visit the Yahoo News site, it turns out that the Stormfront crowd is twice as likely to visit
Members of a hate site perusing the oh-so-liberal nytimes.com? If a substantial number of Stormfront members get their news from nytimes.com, it means our conventional wisdom about white nationalists is wrong.
A recent Southern Poverty Law Center report linked nearly one hundred murders in the past five years to registered Stormfront members. I recently analyzed tens of thousands of such Stormfront profiles, in which registered members can enter their location, birth date, interests, and other information. I also learned that Vikingmaiden88 has enjoyed the content on the site of the newspaper I work for, the feature.If this were the case, the chances that two Americans on a given news site have opposing political views would be 0 percent. In other words, a liberal and a conservative were equally likely to visit any particular news site. In other words, the internet is far closer to perfect desegregation than perfect segregation.If this were the case, the chances that two Americans on a given news website have opposing political views would be roughly 50 percent. Liberals and conservatives are “meeting” each other on the web all the time.
Among this age group, California, a state with one of the largest minority populations, has a membership rate 25 percent higher than the national average.