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Lev-On, Azi, and Manin, Bernard. 2009. Happy accidents: Deliberation and online exposure to opposing views. In Online Deliberation: Design, Research and Practice, eds. Todd Davies and Seeta Gangadharan, pp. 105-122. Chicago: Center for the Study of Language and information. Also online.1

In this paper we wish to make a contribution to the study of the deliberative potential of internet communication. In the first, analytical, part of the paper we draw a distinction between diverse and opposing views. We argue that the study of the deliberative potentials of internet communication should turn on the effective possibilities to expose users to opposing, not just diverse views. In the second and more exploratory part of the paper we ask if online experiences facilitate exposure to opposing views. Using recent empirical findings, we argue that internet communication is a ‘mixed blessing’ for deliberation, as it generates both unintentional exposure to opposing views, as well as ‘drivers’ that channel users away from opposing views.”


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