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Dhananjay Sharma Examines Tackling Affective Polarisation On Social Media Platforms: Meta India Tech Scholars 2022-23

Sharma, in the presentation, said he has focused on affective polarisation— the gap between the positive feelings a person has towards their own party, and the negative feelings towards the other party.

We have to take into account the diverging definitions of polarisation when talking about the effects of social media on society, argued Dhananjay Sharma in his research presentation for the Meta India Tech Scholars program (MITS). “What is it that we’re talking about when we say different aspects of society are getting polarised [by social media platforms]?” Sharma asked. “I focus on affective polarisation—which is the gap between the positive feelings a person has towards their own party, and the negative feelings towards the other party. If the gap is large, we can say that affective polarisation is present at a mass scale.”

A graduate of the National Law University Jodhpur, Sharma’s research explored the relationship between social media platforms and polarization in Indian society, with the aim of suggesting potential intervention strategies for mitigating the growing apathy between partisans.

MediaNama has once again collaborated with the Meta India Tech Scholars program to bring to you the tech policy research its fellows investigated over the last year. The fellows investigated critical issues of tech policy to understand how they impact and influence India’s tryst with technology. Meta launched this program to provide a research and mentorship platform to law students who are keen to engage in contemporary questions of technology, law, and policy. The law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. (SAM) is supporting the program as a knowledge partner.

Sharma is currently working as a policy analyst. 

Disclaimer: The title, presentation, research, views and other work associated with this paper are solely those of the author. The same do not and are not meant to represent the views, positions or opinions of Meta, any of its affiliates and / or personnel.

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