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Freedom of Speech and Segmenting the Citizens
Unformatted Document Text:  ICA-10-10582 21 As it can be realized, this paper identifies two separate reasons for group polarization. The first one is the classification of individuals into groups comprised of members with similar views. This kind of group polarization is an intended result of the segmentation practices of corporations that aim to divide the population into groups that are easy to manage. On the other hand, the second reason – Awareness Paradox – proposes a different path that also leads to the polarization of groups. The premise of the Awareness Paradox is that a certain segment of the population willingly isolates itself from political deliberation. Such isolation takes place as an unintended consequence of corporations’ segmentation practices. Despite this difference, however, both paths to group polarization are likely to turn into a vicious cycle. In case of groups formed as a result of the segmentation practices, the decreased opportunity to interact with other groups will be likely to lead to decreased thin trust. The decrease in thin trust will, in turn, further reinforce groups’ tendencies to refrain from interaction with other groups. In case of groups formed in response to segmentation practices of corporations, isolation that occurs will cause thin trust to decrease which then will further reinforce homogenization. VII Conclusion The relationship between corporations and individuals, in many respects, is characterized by asymmetries of power. These asymmetries of power often lead to a system that economically, politically and legally favors needs of the private corporations at the expense of individual’s rights. The contemporary struggle of individuals to protect their privacy rights reveals many of these asymmetries of power. Privacy rights have been balanced against and deemed inferior to the economic goals of market efficiency and the freedom of speech of private corporations. As Zittrain (2000) explains, unless the individual

Authors: Popescu, Mihaela. and Baruh, Lemi.
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ICA-10-10582
21
As it can be realized, this paper identifies two separate reasons for group polarization.
The first one is the classification of individuals into groups comprised of members with
similar views. This kind of group polarization is an intended result of the segmentation
practices of corporations that aim to divide the population into groups that are easy to
manage. On the other hand, the second reason – Awareness Paradox – proposes a different
path that also leads to the polarization of groups. The premise of the Awareness Paradox is
that a certain segment of the population willingly isolates itself from political deliberation.
Such isolation takes place as an unintended consequence of corporations’ segmentation
practices.
Despite this difference, however, both paths to group polarization are likely to turn into
a vicious cycle. In case of groups formed as a result of the segmentation practices, the
decreased opportunity to interact with other groups will be likely to lead to decreased thin
trust. The decrease in thin trust will, in turn, further reinforce groups’ tendencies to refrain
from interaction with other groups. In case of groups formed in response to segmentation
practices of corporations, isolation that occurs will cause thin trust to decrease which then
will further reinforce homogenization.
VII Conclusion
The relationship between corporations and individuals, in many respects, is
characterized by asymmetries of power. These asymmetries of power often lead to a system
that economically, politically and legally favors needs of the private corporations at the
expense of individual’s rights. The contemporary struggle of individuals to protect their
privacy rights reveals many of these asymmetries of power. Privacy rights have been
balanced against and deemed inferior to the economic goals of market efficiency and the
freedom of speech of private corporations. As Zittrain (2000) explains, unless the individual


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