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Definition - What does Cyberbalkanization mean?

Cyberbalkanization is the segregation of the Internet into smaller groups with similar interests, to a degree that they show a narrow-minded approach to outsiders or those with contradictory views. While the Internet has largely been credited for broadening discussion, it also can serve as a means of bringing together fringe groups with intolerant viewpoints. So, while the Internet has contributed to globalization and information exchange, it also may be used to foster discrimination.

The cyberbalkanization term combines the term "cyber" with Balkans, a political region in southeastern Europe with a history of partitioned cultures, languages and religion.

Techopedia explains Cyberbalkanization

One of the key advantages of the Internet is that it has allowed all kinds of people to publicize their views and reach out to others with similar interests. As a result, however, it also has the same power to bring together those with outlying - and often discriminatory - viewpoints. The ability to communicate allows such communities to flourish more than they would if these people were unable to communicate as a result of geographical separation. As a result, the Internet also has served to promote and incite hatred against minority groups, as well as promote political or social agendas that do not find much footing in popular media.

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