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News Link • Media: Internet

Could a “Respect” Button Help Squash Internet Trolls?

•, By Liz Stinson
  In it, the professor of communication studies at the University of Texas, Austin, investigated the current state of partisan media and what that meant for both the organizations that produce the news and the people who consume it. The takeaway? People tend to engage with the media sources they agree with, and media outlets tend to have little problem with that as long as it means more page views and revenue.

It’s a seemingly “duh” finding. The fact that Fox News loyalists have little true curious desire to watch Rachel Maddow probably comes as a surprise to no one, but that doesn’t change the fact that idling in our media comfort zones can lead to some negative outcomes. “I was just fascinated by how much this actually occurs in our society,” says Stroud. “And I find some of the consequences to be really disturbing.” Consequences like perpetuating stereotypes, encouraging hostile relationships online and the fundamental idea of limiting our own knowledge—all of which have the potential to undermine the democratic process.

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