USC Polarization Index measures political divide – NBC Los Angeles

The political divide in America is wide. Assess how broad the goal of a new index introduced by the USC Anneberg School for Communication and Journalism is.

The Polarization Index is a scientific database that tracks national political divide as measured by conversations on social media. The Polarization Index mathematically calculates the degree of contention on 10 key issues using real-time natural language processing.

The index was created in collaboration with public relations firm Golin and narrative intelligence firm Zignal Labs.

“It is clear from our analysis that polarization has become a perennial feature of American culture, fueled in part by partisan media and political communicators who profit from conflict,” said Fred Cook, director of the USC Center for Public. Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, said in a statement: “These opposing political forces are using the immigration issue as a basis to build a wall to divide our country.”

Immigration is the main problem contributing to the high level of polarization in the country, according to a statement from USC. Polarization Index says talks on immigration have become more controversial since last year’s presidential election and are largely driven by engagement with right-wing media presenting a high level of information unreliable.

“Polarization is a complex, dynamic and widespread phenomenon of tremendous importance to CEOs who increasingly find their companies involved in whether to take a stand,” said Guy Churchward, CEO of Zignal Labs , in a press release. “Use technology in real time. , we can quantify the degree of polarization of given narratives, track this over time, and provide a framework for business and government leaders, as well as the media themselves, to assess the dangers and opportunities that these topics present. ”

Police policy comes second, racial equity third and gun laws fourth, according to recent data from the Polarization Index. Social media users on the left and right have contributed about equal numbers to discussions about racial equity and gun law, an indication that they will remain polarizing topics for the foreseeable future.

“When we look at polarization as a quantized entity, we see how powerful echo chambers are created and amplified, reinforcing existing opinions,” said Jonny Bentwood, global head of data and analytics at Golin, in a press release. these trends over time, we gain valuable insight into how consumer perceptions are changing on issues that impact society and businesses. ”

The USC Polarization Index can be downloaded from and updates will be issued periodically.

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