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
Date Written: April 2, 2016
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: Suggested Citation