Thursday, November 5, 2015

filter bubble

Our identities online can be vastly different from our in person selves and even from someone else's online. Although, our Facebook feeds are filled with pretty radical things from friends, that's only a small percentage of people who are actually speaking their opinions online. The other percentage, which I am a part of, is one that is silenced for the fear they will be judged. Especially because I am friends with my mom, aunts, and grandma on Facebook I don’t share my full hearted opinions. This is called real name silencing, where more silencing is occurring when you are accountable for your opinions online. Not only am I not speaking my real opinions online, I am not even being offered unbiased information to be able to form my own opinions.

Everyone online has a filter bubble, which is a person’s universe online that is decided by someone else and they can't see what is being edited out. During these presidential debates I have noticed something interesting about my filter bubble. I looked up Donald Trump on google a couple of times and I began to notice my Facebook and Twitter feeds were being filled with information on the Republican candidates. Trump should hardly be considered a candidate, but from just a few searches I noticed my filter bubble change. Articles about Democratic candidates and campaigns I began to see less of. I don't believe any of my Facebook friends are hardcore democrats, but I may never know because Facebook is able to block posts that they think wouldn't interest you. The internet creating filter bubbles is not good for our democracy. Not only are people being silenced, but now they aren't even being given unbiased information to make their own opinions. This is only making people more one sided on issues and not be able to see other sides to even make a different opinion. It's hard to recognize your filter bubble and I'm sure a lot more information is being cut out of mine than I realize. A way to combat filter bubbles online is to be aware that there are other points of view than the one your Facebook or other sites may be showing you.

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