Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers

“Filter Bubble” is a theory that the algorithms
from companies like Facebook and Google bases the information given to you on data acquired
from things like, your search history, your past click behavior, the type of your computer and your location. Therefore, limiting the topics that reach
you to a bubble of only your own formulated interests and personalized search subjects. The term was coined by Eli Pariser who wrote
a book on this subject explaining that these algorithms are “closing us off to new ideas,
new subjects and important information ”. What he means is that you are not given information outside your own political views, religious views or even other data like updates on women’s rights and animal rights. Another way of saying this is “Echo Chamber”. Echo chamber is when information, ideas, or
beliefs are repeatedly pushed in an enclosed system like your mind, your newsfeed, or your
social circle, while other views are prohibited. It’s not so different as it was back in
the old days where our great-grandfathers chose only one type of newspaper. However, as time went on, the curators and
editors of old media realized the important effects they had on the world and spent decades
to develop their ethical foundation. Are algorithms created by corporations equipped
with the same ethical foundation? Are you limiting your own views? Are you learning anything new? Filter bubbles may have had some responsibility
in the 2016 election. During the Obama administration, the concerns
of the American working class in the midwest have been ignored and rejected. This led to a hardening of their political
stance. Another example is the opposing side, the
liberals had believed they held an extraordinary lead until the election ballots were counted. And then of course as always in an aggressive
campaign, many people felt that attacks on their candidate were like attacks on themselves
which lead them to retreat into their bubble where only agreeable information can reach them. It’s not necessarily that personalized information
engines are a bad thing. They do help edit out the massive amount of information provided online to cater to what’s important to us. After all, we can’t process all the news
that’s affecting people in Syria, China, North Korea, Africa, Germany, Kim Kardashian
and then finally to news of our own country. It really comes down to actively being aware
of the content you see. Actively expanding your news source and balancing
your knowledge on interested topics. Being that we are a generation that is given
the opportunity to easily get a chance to open our minds to other viewpoints. It seems like it would be a shame just to
close yourself off in a little filtered bubble.

Comments 24

  • cool

  • Please don't say the "K" word.

  • Lol Kim Kardashian

  • Or people are just fucking ignorant and aren't open to anything outside their bubble, like Piers Morgan.

  • Such a good and clear explanation. Thanks a lot! Helps a lot.

  • FYI – Africa isn't a country.

  • I’ve just been researching filter bubbles and following group chats on Facebook discussing filter bubbles – I’m afraid I’m trapped in a bubble within a bubble…

  • Kim Kardashian so fat she is her own country.
    Honestly though, for all the news she is supposedly getting i'm getting none of it. Kinda glad about that, probably a by-product of the echo chamber.
    But I do have personal experience with this and had to get out of my bubble to find out that some views held by the right actually make sense.
    Now i sometimes try to get those bubbles to nuance their views a bit, as most libs aren't SJW feminazis and most alt-right aren't racist white nationalists, but it's the fringes of those groups that seem to fuel the other side

  • I break outside the Echo chamber by Googling something random.

    And that's how I found hello stranger.

  • They are a bad thing, and I had no problem filtering out everything in the Myspace era, I'd manage just fine now without the assistance of big brother and the corporatocracy 😀

  • How would i get out of the echo chamber? its hard to find things from the other point of view.

  • Isn't it up to us to decide what to learn and when to learn it, to be in a bubble or not. You say it's such a shame, but fail to describe why it's a shame.

  • So…I've come across a few studies that suggest the filter bubble presence in social media is way overstated. There's a paper by Seth Lewis of the University of Oregon School of Journalism about this. This filter bubble controversy seemed suspect to me from the beginning. What's the real agenda behind this? I have my theories.

  • Excellent explanation.

  • I am on a mission to watch all of your videos

  • doink

  • background music = distraction


  • Basically liberal echo chambers is ok but anything else is not.

  • An interesting and succint exposé that would have been perfect for those of my students who cannot yet focus on something as drawn-out and tricky as a Ted Talk.

    Why did you ruin it with those background whistling noises?

    Does anyone know a way to filter them out?

  • There's a startup working on addressing these issues for the news space. They expose a diversity of opinion from accross the globe and most importantly show the same opinions to everyone. The idea being you see the facts and opinions then make up your own mind (not have the algorithm pick for you!!)

    They're called Scope

    I find them pretty good, might be of interest to some of you 🙂

  • F I G

  • Everytime I research a new topic I start to see it everywhere. So annoying.

  • the truth and why my searching is so spicy

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