Websites such as OneSub, Nuzzera and AllSides hope to subvert political polarisation by offering news and views from beyond users’ usual sources. But is it that simple?
As strange as it may sound, above a Dorothy House charity shop in the shabbier end of central Bath, a handful of people are quietly trying to push the world – or at least a small part of it – away from the polarisation that currently defines politics, and towards something a bit more open and empathic. To compound the unlikeliness of it all, they are led by a man called Jim Morrison: not the reincarnated singer of the Doors, but the 40-year-old founder of a new online platform called OneSub, whose strapline is “Break the echo chamber”.
I have come to OneSub’s HQ as part of a week-long quest to push my reading habits and general soaking-up of information out of my usual left-inclined social media bubble, get some much-needed perspective, and try to use the internet as it was originally intended – not to confirm my prejudices, but to reintroduce me to the confounding, complicated, surprising realities of the world as it actually is.