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Pop Loser No. 105

by Tyler Hellard


Why It’s as Hard to Escape an Echo Chamber as It Is to Flee a Cult

A good review of what an echo chamber actually is, how they function and why they will murder us all in the soul. 

Most of the examples I’ve given so far, following Jamieson and Cappella, focus on the conservative media echo chamber. But nothing says that this is the only echo chamber out there; I am quite confident that there are plenty of echo chambers on the political Left. More importantly, nothing about echo chambers restricts them to the arena of politics. The world of anti-vaccination is clearly an echo chamber, and it is one that crosses political lines. I’ve also encountered echo chambers on topics as broad as diet (Paleo!), exercise technique (CrossFit!), breastfeeding, some academic intellectual traditions, and many, many more. Here’s a basic check: does a community’s belief system actively undermine the trustworthiness of any outsiders who don’t subscribe to its central dogmas? Then it’s probably an echo chamber.


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