Monday, April 3, 2017

My own Filter Bubble

            According to Techopedia, a filter bubble is the intellectual isolation that can occur when websites use algorithms to assume the information a user wants to see.  This can be determined from things such as previous click behavior, browsing history, and search history.  While these filter bubbles are easily convenient for the user, it can also be problematic for their arguments by only showing one perspective rather than contradicting viewpoints.  A filter bubble is not uncommon, it’s used in everyday websites such as Google and Facebook.  

Image result for filter bubbleI had never really noticed much if there was such a thing as a filter bubble in things like my social media, but after reflecting on it, it is easy to see that this concept is extremely prevalent on my Facebook feed. My own filter bubble on Facebook is filled with food preparation videos, pictures of my friends, and outdated Vine compilation.  Thinking about this, these are all the aspects of my social media that I find entertaining and click on the most, thus confirming what the filter bubble is. 

While my Facebook is filled with these entertaining videos and pictures, my Facebook feed is also very reflective of my political views. I am Democratic, so a majority of the political articles are of that nature, and this was the most present during the election season.  While my feed was filled with support for Bernie and the hashtag #imwithher, I would occasionally see pro-trump articles.  But these were shared from members of my distant family or old Facebook friends from my high school.  While I never unfriended them, I would sometimes unfollow them.  This wasn’t a “You’re opinion is wrong and I don’t want to see it” unfollow.  The reason behind the few unfollows were that because of the nature of the articles shared, it was not that they were pro-Trump or anti-Hillary, it was the degrading and crude titles, and captions, and content of the article.  I am all for freedom of speech, but it’s when it becomes slander and degrading that it crosses the line for me and would cause me to unfollow someone.

While a filter bubble from my perspective is extremely useful in filtering out the unnecessary posts of science(for me) and shoots the videos of food to the front, I can understand how this has a negative effect in creating tunnel vision, especially that in the aspect of politics.  It was also interesting to see in lecture that this is not just Facebook, but that even search engines such as Google tweak each person’s search results when looking something up.

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