Breaking the BubbleEdit
In 2011, Eli Pariser coined the term filter bubble to describe how engines on the internet give results based on the users search history. Filter bubbles can be an advantage is that they sort out and organize information that is personalized for users. However, many users would object and feel that it is an invasion of privacy.
Reasons the Bubble Needs to be Broken Edit
Users have many reasons for wanting to break the filter bubble they are under. Users have the chance to be mislead by the information they receive, affecting their views on the world with biased information. Looking at how Internet users consume political information, sites like Google and Facebook mostly display similar perspectives and ideas pertaining to the user. This can have a negative effect, as it has the users cut out from opposing perspectives, resulting with narrow-mindedness and biased information. It prevents users from seeing information which can alter their views on a subject or expand on their arguments against it.
How To Break the Bubble Edit
There are many actions users can implement to avoid falling into filter bubbles. For details on how to avoid some of these actions the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides a guide. The main ways users can break the bubble are to delete their search history, attempt to limit targeted ads, delete web cookies, limit personal information listed on social media, use a browser in incognito mode or that is designed to allow users to be anonymous, use browser extensions, or choose informative websites.
Despite being introduced years prior, many sites ignore and continue to implement filter bubbles. Some sites such as Facebook has started to dial back on filtering its information by removing personalization from certain lists such as trending topics. The algorithm will be changed to highlight stories that are being reported by a variety of sites and have high interactions with those stories to prevent single sided stories from appearing.
Government Action Edit
The European Parliament has taken steps to address the problem that filter bubbles present. It is support attempts to gain more information on how filter bubbles are affecting the public's ability to access a wide range of news sources. In a press release on December 9, 2016 the European Commission announced plans to introduce programs that will actively education citizens on social media so they are aware of what media they consume.