What is a Filter Bubble?

Since the late 40’s, every president of the United States obtains multiple documents of informations several times a day. The documents are adjusted according to each new president’s desires. Donald Trump desires to receive a document that is unofficially called “The Propaganda Document”. On orders from Mr. Trump, it contains only positive news, flattering tweets about himself and in some cases, when there are no happy news, just pictures of him looking powerful. It is also said that the news and national security issues in other documents are ranked with the only purpose of not upsetting him.

Filter bubbles can happen to everyone, not just president Trump. It happens when we use Facebook, Google or almost any other social media that adapt their content to their users. By adapting the content, users will only see information in subjects they have earlier shown interest in. One example could be if a coder and a zookeeper Googles “python”, they will probably receive different results. We believe that the effect of filter bubbles might be much more than just getting different Google results. If people only find information that matches their interests and opinion they will not see things from several points of view. In our project, we are investigating if there are such thing as a harmful filter bubble and what it might look like.

Our names are Anna Normark and Rebecca Oskarsson. We are two master students in the IT engineering programme, currently working on our master thesis. Our thesis consists of investigating filter bubbles and their effects. We are invited to write some blog posts here by our reviewer Åsa Cajander and this is our first blog post on this topic and there will be two more coming up this spring.