Should We Worry About Filter Bubbles?

Internet Policy Review. Journal on Internet Regulation, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2016

16 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2016 Last revised: 28 Aug 2016

See all articles by Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius

Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius

iHub, interdisciplinary research hub on Security, Privacy, and Data Governance

Damian Trilling

University of Amsterdam

Judith Moeller

University of Amsterdam

Balázs Bodó

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Claes H. de Vreese

University of Amsterdam

Natali Helberger

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Date Written: April 2, 2016

Abstract

Some fear that personalised communication can lead to information cocoons or filter bubbles. For instance, a personalised news website could give more prominence to conservative or liberal media items, based on the (assumed) political interests of the user. As a result, users may encounter only a limited range of political ideas. We synthesise empirical research on the extent and effects of self-selected personalisation, where people actively choose which content they receive, and pre-selected personalisation, where algorithms personalise content for users without any deliberate user choice. We conclude that at present there is little empirical evidence that warrants any worries about filter bubbles.

Keywords: echo chamber, filter bubble, information cocoon, algorithm, personalised communication, manipulation, pre-selcted, self-selected

JEL Classification: K12, K00, D10, D11, D20, D30, D40, D60, D70, L00, L11, L20, L51

Suggested Citation

Zuiderveen Borgesius, Frederik and Trilling, Damian and Moeller, Judith and Bodó, Balázs and de Vreese, Claes H. and Helberger, Natali, Should We Worry About Filter Bubbles? (April 2, 2016). Internet Policy Review. Journal on Internet Regulation, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2758126

Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius (Contact Author)

iHub, interdisciplinary research hub on Security, Privacy, and Data Governance ( email )

Nijmegen
Netherlands

Damian Trilling

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.damiantrilling.net

Judith Moeller

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Balázs Bodó

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Rokin 84
Amsterdam, 1012 KX
Netherlands

Claes H. De Vreese

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 2426/3680 (Phone)

Natali Helberger

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Kloveniersburgwal 48
1012 CX Amsterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivir.nl

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