Supposedly, if you want to understand someone, you should try walking around in their shoes – or perhaps just follow who they follow on Twitter.
Much has been written about the effects of so-called social media ‘filter bubbles’ – the phenomenon by which our prejudices and worldview is reinforced by only being exposed to likeminded people on social media.
An extreme (and extremely worrying) example is Donald Trump, many of whose pronouncements can be traced back to his consumption of news and opinion which shows up in his feed.
After devoting much coverage to the effects of Twitter on the President – and his use of it – the Washington Post has created Trump’s Feed. Every five minutes, the account checks who the President follows and retweets anything new from them, thus replicating everything he sees in his feed.
Unsurprisingly, it is a particularly one-sided view of the world. The President, the Washington Post reports, follows just 45 accounts, many of them by staffers, colleagues or former campaign workers, as well as news outlets sympathetic to him such as Fox.
It’s a very clever, fascinating use of social which reveals much, though when it comes to social media echo chambers, which if us are not guilty of creating something similar?