Political blend: an application designed to bring people together based on political differences
Modern social media have increasingly helped people separate themselves by worldview. We watch television shows and follow blogs that agree with our views, and read Twitter streams of people we like. The result is often called the echo chamber. Scholars cite political echo chambers as partly to blame for the divisive and destructive U.S. political climate. In this paper, we introduce a mobile application called Political Blend designed to combat echo chambers: it brings people with different political beliefs together for a cup of coffee. Based on interviews, we discovered that people are open to this kind of application and feel it may help the broader political environment. The primary contribution of this work is evidence that people are open to meeting those different from them, even those who ideologically oppose them. In an environment dominated by applications matching based on similarities, we see that this is an important finding.