Introduction to the Role of Information and Communication Technologies in Polarization

Israr Qureshi, Babita Bhatt, Samrat Gupta*, Amit Anand Tiwari

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The year 2020 has been a testing ground for the progress towards a cohesive and sustainable future envisaged through the advancement in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (UN ECOSOC 2021). In a time of uncertainty, helplessness, and growing frustrations, we, as a society, found that ICTs can be a mixed blessing. We witnessed the power of ICTs in connecting people across the globe in their collective trauma and desperation (Garfin 2020), forming online mutual aid groups to offer help and support to those in need (Knearem et al. 2021) and building solidarity, and increasing outreach of movements for social justice (Frankfurt 2020). However, these positive trends were marred by the increase in information chaos (Forum on Information and Democracy (2021), the formation of echo chambers (Boutyline and Willer 2017), and the consolidation of extreme views and ideologies (Zeller 2021). These polarizing forces threaten the development-oriented nature of information society and deteriorate social cohesion, which is composed of trust, sense of belonging, and participation in community life (Chan et al. 2006). Social cohesion is the glue that holds the community together and is necessary for collaborative problem solving (Friedkin 2004).

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCauses and Symptoms of Socio-Cultural Polarization
    Subtitle of host publicationRole of Information and Communication Technologies
    PublisherSpringer Nature
    Pages1-23
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811652684
    ISBN (Print)9789811652677
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

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