What big data reveals about online extremism

As extremist groups and fringe movements like QAnon have gained mainstream awareness, their ability to rapidly proliferate misinformation and conspiracies has put social media platforms under heightened public scrutiny. Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies have been reprimanded by Congress and media outlets alike for failing to seriously address online radicalization among their users. As the United States has grown increasingly politically polarized, the question of whether these platforms’ algorithms—unintentionally, or by design—help users discover extreme and misleading content has become more urgent.

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