How can we control social media to shape our political views?

Social media has allowed us to view political news and participate in political discussions in ways never before possible. At the same time, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are so popular because they know what we already like. Well-made games? A tasty dessert? A certain political viewpoint?

"One of the great things and one of the scary things about social media is that everyone can have an opinion," says Juana Summers, editor of CNN Politics. "It's a marketplace of ideas. Voices that are sometimes incorrect or strongly partisan often get amplified."

Living in a democracy means that all voices are heard. But with the ability to curate our own news and limit the voices of those who hold opposing political views, we end up hearing only from those we agree with and completely miss the opinions of anyone else. Instead of embracing a vibrant public dialogue, we are stuck in an online echo chamber.

For intelligence analysts, it is usually necessary to prepare intelligence reports after collecting, processing, and analyzing data.

The intelligence report contains findings that must be fact-based. It may also include newly discovered issues, new avenues to explore, but most importantly, a summary of the issues discovered.

The important thing is to make sure that you stick to the facts when writing the report. Do not lean toward any particular theory, which may lead to confirmation bias. As a researcher, you should be completely unbiased throughout the process.

One way analysts must get out of the echo chamber is to control your news feed. Here are some ways to organize your social media news to capture more information beyond your own point of view.

1. Read something you strongly disagree with once a week.

2. Follow experts in their field on Twitter and click to dive deeper into what they post, rather than skimming photos or headlines.

3. Research the issue from multiple sources before writing the report.

4. Check the facts before summarizing the issue. Use Google to make sure the information is accurate.

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