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Social media platforms have helped fuel political polarization and incitements to violence across the globe, from the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
This is because algorithms consistently select content that evokes anger and outrage from its users to maximize engagement. And sometimes, those extreme emotions turn into extreme actions.
New York Times reporter Max Fisher took a deep dive into the impact of social media in his book, “The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World.” He shares with us how platform leaders have prioritized profit and growth over safeguards and how the polarizing effect of social media is only speeding up.
In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.
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This episode was produced by Elena Burnett and Michael Levitt. It was edited by Bridget Kelley, Emily Kopp and Christopher Intagliata. Our executive producer is Sami Yenigun.