Jonathan Haidt Explains How Social Media Drives Polarization | Amanpour and Company

In a time of heightened political tension, Jonathan Haidt has a good idea of what’s driving this polarized atmosphere around the world. He is a social psychologist who believes social media has transformed in recent years to become an “outrage machine,” spreading anger and toxicity. He sits down with Hari to discuss this difficult problem and what the possible solutions could be.

There is No Accountability on Social Media for Posting and Retweeting Bad Information

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something that’s not about politics last
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night was just so had it I can’t take it
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I don’t want it I have read that expense
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office all of them and the short stories
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I can’t take it don’t want it but it’s
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not like that was the first time do you
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guys remember 2018 do you remember
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Kansas the night of that primary it was
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ridiculous or in 2016 California like
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how long it took for the results like oh
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it’s just where’s the way you and and
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one of the things that made it even
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worse was like I was tweeting about how
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frustrated I was that people were just
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sharing like like whatever they they
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heard they don’t check it they don’t
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Google it they just share it something
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pops into their head it sounds good like
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you have an inclination you want to
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believe that something is true and so
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people are gonna like and they’re gonna
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retweet what says that they’re there
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right like there was so much
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misinformation and just people not
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caring enough about the material to
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actually Google it
like like all the
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stuff going around about the
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like obviously there’s problems with the
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app but like the people who were like
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100% Budaj edge made the app
I got it
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and and look we have the disclosures
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that were coming out and and responsible
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people we’re talking about the
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disclosures that they had paid that app
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company okay now before you then take
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that and say and thus he made the app
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and presumably put in some sort of
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backdoor where he could steal the
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election
do just a little bit of
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googling like that company makes other
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apps political canvassing apps things
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for volunteers things that campaigns
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would use and so the fact that he paid
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money to that company does not mean that
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he invested in the construction of that
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app
he could be buying one of the
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political apps that they already have
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and in fact it turns out that over the
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past year I believe Klobuchar Biden and
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Gillibrand all of them gave money to
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this company presumably for one of the
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political canvassing apps
that they have
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sold for some time you know how I found
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out that stuff by googling for like 90
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seconds it was super simple but I
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noticed that when I started tweeting out
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those I guess inconvenient truths nobody
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cared like the people who were like no
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no no Buddha judge definitely made the
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app he stole this thing a hundred times
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as many of retweets a hundred times as
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many likes
someone who’s like hey guys
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you know pump the brakes first of all it
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looks like Bernie’s Bernie’s still gonna
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win second of all it looks like this
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company actually has other apps nobody
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cares about that stuff nobody’s
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interested in that is really depressing
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you know because media is a big thing
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it’s not one thing it’s a lot of
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different voices in a lot of different
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forms but the fact that the people who
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are trying to be accurate and reasonable
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are always going to have to compete with
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people who are just their thing is I’m
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going to see what people want to hear
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what they desperately want to believe is
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true
and I’m just gonna tell admit I’m
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just gonna say that it’s true and nobody
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ever tweets you know um you know I just
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I want to apologize because I retweeted
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something last night you know sort of in
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the fervor of what was going on it turns
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out that it was untrue I apologize if I
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helped to misinform anyone
in the future
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I’m going to be
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but more careful
before I spread these
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things and in particular I will not be
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spreading the the people who were
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spreading this misinformation I will be
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more critical of them in particular
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literally no one has ever said that you
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spread things that are false nobody
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cares nobody remembers even theirs the
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incentives are all wrong on social media

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and that is on top of all of the other
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problems of last night that is so
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incredibly frustrating I’m not having a
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stroke down that’ll come later based on
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diet have you seen the Saga comics I
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have not just be reasonable like it’s
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why I’m never gonna be a success
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honestly there’s no there’s no reason
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why would you why would you be
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reasonable yeah nobody at nobody admits
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that they’re wrong that’s where I don’t
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know if you were watching the coverage
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last night but I wanted to add on to
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they were there every conversation they
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were saying no one on TV in political
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media ever pays any sort of price for
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being dead wrong and I wanted to add on
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say you’re right but it ain’t just TV

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nobody in any form of media ever pays
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any sort of price for being wrong not if
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they were wrong in a way that reassured
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their followers their audience that
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things were gonna be okay who who ever
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gets mad at a person for a horrible
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prediction a prediction that when it was
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made was obviously not true nobody cares
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about that they want I want you to be
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wrong in a way that makes me feel warm
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and cozy I want you to tell me the sort
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of things that are a verbal light
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stroking of my head to make me feel a
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little bit better that’s that’s all
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really anyway the reason I talk about
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this now is we were on night one we have
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got a bunch of these nights to go and
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unfortunately I don’t I don’t think that
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any are gonna be as bad as Iowa but
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there’s gonna be a lot of bad nights and
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that’s really unfortunate okay everybody
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I would love to talk longer but we do
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have a show coming up and on it I’m
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gonna be joined by Jordan you’ll as I am
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every other Tuesday you know me also
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were to talk about last night but also
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author podcaster and founder of Vox Ezra
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Klein is also going to be in studio to
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talk about his book about polarization
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which seems especially relevant this
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both of last night and with the State of
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the Union so should be an awesome
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conversation there we’ve got so much
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we’re gonna talk about I have read do
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and I read the first one I wasn’t a huge
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fan maybe I need to read more of them
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but anyway thank you as always for
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joining me this a little live live video
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in ten minutes the full show starts so
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definitely tune in there I’ll see you on
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the other side