The power of Twitter has always included the ability to engage via the retweet and knowing that there are users out there just like you, trying to find the best information possible to inform their lives. For most users, Twitter is very often the most immediate tool for news and event reporting. However, existing in an echo chamber (where your biases and beliefs are reinforced and repeated within your social sphere) leaves many of us aghast at changes in policy and in larger society. While you may not agree with a particular political ideology, it is essential to inform yourself of the many perspectives of an issue. This will allow you to not only make an informed decision on all available and applicable information, but enables you to have conversations that may inform others struggling with indecision.
Along these lines, Twitter users have a new tool to help manage and engage diverse perspectives called FlipFeed: https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/flipfeed/overview/
Flipfeed, developed at the MIT Media Lab, is a Chrome extension used with Twitter.com that allows users to see feeds from others with differing political leanings. Users that appear in your FlipFeed are real folks, tweeting and retweeting news, commentary, and stories important to them. Researchers determine which users will appear based on social media analytics. While most Twitter users fall somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum, FlipFeed will give you access to the furthest ends of the spectrum, with users from extreme conservatism to radicalism.
You can engage with a number of different users by switching between your feed and others. You also retain Twitter functionality so you can retweet, reply, and save any tweets on the new feed that you want.
Overall, FlipFeed gives you a sense of the sorts of opposing viewpoints you will never encounter otherwise.
Still need more tools to inform your world? Check out our Fake News Libguide for more sources.
Today’s post was written by Instructional Design Librarian Aisha Conner-Gaten.