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Affective polarisation and emotional distortions on social media

Tanesini, Alessandra ORCID: 2022. Affective polarisation and emotional distortions on social media. Philosophy 92 , pp. 87-109. 10.1017/S1358246122000261

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In this paper I argue that social networking sites (SNSs) are emotion technologies that promote a highly charged emotional environment where intrinsic emotion regulation is significantly weakened, and people's emotions are more strongly modulated by other people and by the technology itself. I show that these features of social media promote a simplistic emotional outlook which is an obstacle to the development and maintenance of virtue. In addition, I focus on the mechanisms that promote group-based anger and thus give rise to affective polarisation. In the final section, after a discussion of the positive value of some forms of anger, I argue that SNSs should not be designed to prohibit or suppress anger, but that its encouragement should also be avoided. I conclude with a suggestion about how this might be achieved.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0031-8191
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 7 February 2022
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 14:18

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