In today's society, we are plagued with political bias. People tend to seek news from a single source which frequently serves to further polarize and reinforce held beliefs. Social media is a popular outlet for political debate and news consumption. For this project, we leverage Reddit data to expose individuals to all sides of a given topic and make inferences about groups of online communities. By being able to make comparisons about communities in relation to given topics, it allows us to uncover the nuances of political discourse and how information is dispersed on Reddit.
We grouped similar subreddits based on the choice of words used within comments and submissions for a particular topic. Specifically, we were interested in discussions taking place within the most populated politically-related subreddits about some of the most notable events that occurred in 2018. The events we chose to explore were the Singapore Summit (North Korea meeting), Hurricane Florence, the Kavanaugh hearing, and the government shutdown. We provide a visual analtics tool that can be used to see how different subreddits engage with these topics, so that people can explore a diverse set of perspectives. We believe that access to nuanced opinions and disparate viewpoints is important because our society is so polarized. We want to portray opinions as part of a spectrum to show radical, mild, and neutral thoughts regarding our selected topics. If people become aware of the larger picture and distance themselves from online echo chambers, we believe that people can start forming opinions more nuanced than the opinions they presently hold. Our project represents our attempt to take a step towards a less biased society.