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In the Echo Chamber

If my Facebook feed is to be believed, the UK is set for a massive Labour victory in the forthcoming General Election. There are numerous reasons for believing that Labour’s manifesto is not economic madness but moving us towards a more Scandinavian model (reputed to be among the happiest nations on earth), while there are ample reasons for not trusting the Conservative party in general and Boris Johnson in particular (numerous examples over the past decade). By and large, I find myself agreeing with this and yet…

It could be said that I haven’t done much during my career that draws specifically on my history degree but one of the essential qualities of that discipline is to question your sources. Since I’ve got Facebook friends from a broad range of backgrounds and political persuasions, I also see a few things I deeply disagree with but I wonder if the people sharing those are mainly seeing clear evidence that we are set for a rash of blue where once constituencies were coloured red?

I suspect the answer is not that Facebook is enabling me to be prescient but that the volume of the echo chamber effect (where you hear your own opinions reflected back to you) is ramping up and up. Facebook reader beware (and likewise for any source of unreferenced opinions).

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