No, big data did not polarize us

… Polarization in American politics is right now about as strong as it was in the late 19th century. There’s probably a mediocre steampunk sci-fi novel out there about the McKinley campaign hiring an analyst to build some Charles Babbage analytical engine to perfectly target prospective Republican voters across the country (and if not, dibs), but really, big data was not the story then.

Partisanship was strong then because it typically is strong when you don’t have a large swath of white conservative voters aligned with the more liberal of the two major parties, as was the case in the mid-20th century. That was the weird era in American politics. CONT.

Seth Masket, Mischiefs of Faction