My Facebook wall is awash (and has been for months) with anti-Trump and anti-Brexit posts. This is unsurprising: I didn’t vote for Brexit, and I wouldn’t have voted for Trump. But I don’t want my Facebook wall to be an echo chamber, and so I allow pro-Trump and pro-Brexit posts on my wall. I must admit that I seldom click on these posts to read the journalism beyond, but I should also add that I seldom do that with the posts towards which I am favourably disposed. I’m more likely to engage with friends’ personal posts on political or socioreligious matters than I am to click any links they might share about these things. And I’m far more likely to share funny photos of cats, anyway. Who doesn’t love a picture of disgruntled kittens in a bath?
Once thing I have noticed—though I hasten to add that this is mostly through reading the post titles and whatever picture is shared with it—is that any amount of ‘evidence’ can be given to support any given position, and any amount of ‘counter-evidence’ can be given to support the opposite position. The dynamic is:
‘x is good because y says so.’‘No! x can’t be good because z proves that y is wrong about x.’‘But you’re forgetting that z is actually owned/supported by t, and t has links to w, which means that z’s opinion about y is seriously open to correction.’‘You’re all wrong! Neither z nor y is right . . . but x is good because it promotes a and not b.’‘Chill—here’s a photo of a cat pretending to fly a toy plane.’
And so on.