The Verge: ‘Filter Bubble’ author Eli Pariser on why we need publicly owned social networks. “To internet activist Eli Pariser, who coined the term and wrote a book on the subject, questions about how tech platforms are reshaping public life remain as relevant as ever. In a new TED talk, Pariser says social platforms should be rebuilt to serve the greater good, drawing on principles from urban planning. (Civic Signals, a NEW organization he co-founded with University of Texas at Austin professor Talia Stroud, aims to build new models that would do just that.)”
Search Engine Land: Senate bill seeks to compel tech giants to offer ‘unfiltered’ versions of their content. “There’s a new bill circulating in the Senate that would require large internet companies to disclose that their results are using ‘opaque algorithms’ and offer consumers an option to see non-personalized search results or content, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported. It’s called ‘The Filter Bubble Transparency Act.'”
Phys .org: The Divided States of America: How social media reveals social fragmentation. “Far from being an egalitarian melting pot of diverse opinions and worldviews, the Internet has grown to mirror the same social divisions that exist offline. The U.S. is fragmented into physically segregated communities with polarized idealogical differences. That is the conclusion of a new paper by the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. This paper quantifies the oft-repeated complaint that social media has become an echo chamber.”
Quartz: How to create a Twitter feed that will make you a better employee. “The corrosive effect of online filter bubbles are by now well understood. So if you want to challenge your biases for the sake of being a wiser person, you’d better stay abreast of what’s on the minds of people who don’t think like you.” The headline does not do justice to the amount of Twitter resources in this article.
Nieman Lab: Few people are actually trapped in filter bubbles. Why do they like to say that they are?. “We’re not trapped in filter bubbles, but we like to act as if we are. Few people are in complete filter bubbles in which they only consume, say, Fox News, Matt Grossmann writes in a new report for Knight (and there’s a summary version of it on Medium here). But the ‘popular story of how media bubbles allegedly undermine democracy’ is one that people actually seem to enjoy clinging to.”
MIT Sloan Management Review: Twitter Is Not the Echo Chamber We Think It Is. “We are in the midst of a public conversation about whether social media echo chambers facilitate the spreading of fake news or prevent constructive dialogue on public issues. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that he was experimenting with features to reduce echo chambers on Twitter by inserting content with alternative viewpoints into people’s feeds. In response, an op-ed in The New York Times predicted that this idea would backfire, citing recent research showing that exposing people to alternate viewpoints only makes them more partisan. The problem with this otherwise important debate is that it assumes that Twitter users exist in echo chambers in the first place. They don’t.”
Ars Technica: Being reminded of your political bubble can stop you from breaking out. “Using social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can connect us to many more people than we would otherwise interact with, which is great. But our choices regarding who we interact with (often amplified by a platform’s algorithms) limit many of our social networks in a way that keeps us tucked within an echo chamber of people who think like us. And in that mode, our social interaction may exacerbate tribal attitudes towards people outside our groups rather than breaking down barriers.”