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#OutsideYourBubble: New Tech Products Help You See How the Other Side Lives (and Tweets)

Several new tech products invite us to reach out and understand other people’s social and political point of view without the hassle of actually talking to them. Here are our Top 4:

  1. FlipFeed, a Twitter plug-in created by M.I.T. researchers, provides a voyeuristic thrill: Click a button, and your regular Twitter feed is replaced by that of a random, anonymous user of a different political persuasion. (It’s perfect for seeing how the other half live-tweets a Trump news conference.)
  2. The iPhone app Read Across the Aisle gamifies political outreach — as you read articles from The Huffington Post or The Federalist through the app, you’ll see a meter turn red or blue based on the particular site’s ideological bent.
  3. BuzzFeed is testing a new feature, “Outside Your Bubble,” which pulls in opinions from across the web and gives them a neutral platform.
  4. Escape Your Bubble, a plug-in that seeds your Facebook feed with opposing political views, goes a step further, repackaging partisan content with an aggressively positive affect. Each story appears with a pink heart icon and a banner that says: “Happily inserted by your EscapeYourBubble Chrome Extension :)”

The real ingenuity of these solutions lies in stripping opposing ideas of their negative emotional impact. It’s not too hard to find people who disagree with you online — just create a Twitter account, state an opinion and watch the haters roll up — but the heated social media climate provides a tense, abstracted version of human connection that often leaves both sides more polarized.

Read the full story on New York Times

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