Social media sites are often blamed for contributing to political polarization because they encourage people to segregate themselves from those with opposing political views. Yet in a recent landmark study, the Duke Polarization Lab discovered that exposing social media users to opposing political views makes political divisions even worse.


Our team of social scientists, computer scientists, and statisticians believes this is because of deep design mistakes at the heart of social media. Watch a video about our work here.

We aim to re-imagine social media by drawing upon the latest advances in social psychology, political science, and machine learning to optimize our platforms for more productive conversations about politics.


In the first stage of our work, we are running experiments on a new social media platform for scientific research  that we hope will help us determine how social media can be redesigned from the bottom up to fight political tribalism.

In the meantime, you can try our tools to help you explore your echo chamber, measure the ideology of other social media users, and step outside your echo chamber by following our bots. We also maintain a social media bipartisanship leaderboard that people can use to track their progress reaching across the aisle.

© 2020 The Polarization Lab at Duke University

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Duke University