polarization project granted

Post-X Society, Albeda College and Nationaal Instituut voor Beeld & Geluid proposed a project plan on the subject of polarization to the SIDN Fund, which now has been granted. This project aims to explore and counteract negative polarization among young individuals in vocational education in The Netherlands (MBO). It seeks to encourage participants to delve deeper into the understanding of how ideas and opinions are framed and presented online, and how this can affect perceptions.

Another key focus of the project is the examination of the effects of algorithmic reinforcement. Building upon the “Harmful Behavior Online” report by the Rathenau Institute, we bring insight into where digital platforms tend to amplify certain views based on a novel AI-based assessment tool. A new social media simulator and workshop materials will be developed as well.

Recognizing the significant impact of these mechanisms, the project aims to foster understanding and reflective thinking about these influences among the youth.

Ultimately, we hope to encourage the development of new narratives and perspectives that promote positive dialogue, helping to reverse patterns of negativity:

“We recognize that we are living in an era where our collective reality is heavily mediated by digital tools. These tools can create a skewed understanding of reality. Through this initiative, we seek to illuminate these manipulations, fostering critical thinking and empowering the youth to not only navigate these complexities but also to create more inclusive and positive narratives. Our goal is not to return to a pre-digital common reality but to advance towards a more nuanced post-reality, one where we understand and navigate the hybridization of the online and offline world in pursuit of better societal discourse.”

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