Oct. 23, 2020 (TechXplore) -- It's not news that U.S. politics are highly polarized or that polarization affects cable news channels. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, using computer translation tools in an unprecedented way, have found that even the meanings of some words are now polarized.
Everyone is speaking English, they said, yet the computer analysis of social media discussions shows viewers of different news channels are, in a sense, speaking different languages.
Based on millions of user comments on the YouTube channels for four leading cable news outlets, it seems that viewers of right-wing outlets think of "Burisma," in the same way that their left-wing counterparts think of "Kushner." A "protest" to one set of viewers is a "riot" to another. For one, it's a "mask," to another, a "muzzle."
"Black Lives Matter" (BLM) in CNN English is equivalent to "All Lives Matter" in Fox News English. Even more extreme, some right-wing news viewers use "BLM" in the same context as left-wing news viewers use "KKK" (Ku Klux Klan).