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Platforms and Exposure Diversity: Towards a Framework to Assess Policies to Promote Exposure Diversity

Ranaivoson, H. R., & Domazetovikj, N. (2023). Platforms and Exposure Diversity: Towards a Framework to Assess Policies to Promote Exposure Diversity. Media and Communication, 11(2), 379-391. 

The fragmentation of consumption and algorithms’ increasing impact on how content is recommended and displayed makes it even more important to analyse and promote exposure diversity, i.e., the extent to which audiences are exposed to, discover, and engage with diverse content. Although there is a growing literature addressing how to define media diversity in the context of the challenges posed by platformisation, this article translates the normative dimensions into a framework for operationalising exposure diversity into a tangible policy goal, taking into account datafication and its consequences in terms of increasing data requirements towards platforms. The main objective of this study is to analyse initiatives to assess exposure diversity in the platform era and to discuss how such assessment could be improved, particu‐ larly for policy initiatives. This involves addressing several challenges of existing approaches for the assessment of exposure diversity related to defining an appropriate frame of reference, determining the degree of diversity required, dealing with data transparency issues, and promoting user autonomy. To achieve this, we propose a framework for analysing initiatives aimed at assessing and promoting exposure to media diversity. Our framework is composed of four key features: measures (type of initiative), metrics (quantifying exposure diversity), data collection methods, and data requirements. We apply this framework to a set of 13 initiatives and find that policy initiatives can benefit from adopting metrics based on distances and experimenting with data collection methods.


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