It’s Time to Shatter the Filter Bubble Illusion

Politics has gotten absolutely dire in the last few years. The left is talking about fascism and violence, having suddenly decided that physically attacking their enemies is the ‘right’ thing to do. The right is talking about censorship and political correctness, along with a world controlled by social justice warriors.

And with Trump being the US president, it’s meant things have gone straight to hell. The sides are now so polarised that people cannot get along at all any more.

It’s turned the political world into a battlefield. It’s caused politics to devolve into a bloody war between two sides convinced everyone they oppose is literally evil. The world’s gone mad.

But I have a way to fix it.

I have a way to fix the problem of political polarisation for good.

Basically, we kill the filter bubbles. Not gradually. Not by introducing a few counter arguments into someone’s daily feed.

But immediately. We take Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms and kill them right there. All filtering is now gone for good.

In other words… people’s interests now have no effect on what they see online. Their friends do not influence what content they see. Their subscriptions and follows are now meaningless. And all block/ban/ignore lists have been ripped up and thrown out the window.

Instead, everyone just gets absolutely everything at once. Conservatives get flooded with posts from left wing sites. Liberals get flooded with posts from right wing ones. The protesters at the recent Milo event get to see what their enemies think of them, and the same is true for Milo’s own fans. There is no escape. No way to hide. Nowhere to run to avoid your enemies.

In other words, forget the ‘red pill’. This is like what would happen if Neo physically blew up The Matrix and switched off ‘reality’ for 6 billion people at once. Their whole world view is suddenly torn to pieces.

Yes, it would initially be a chaotic mess. People would be angry, they’d threaten to delete their social media accounts, tensions would flare up at work and school alike.

But eventually, it would improve reality. It would fix political discourse by teaching people that no, the other side are not dumb hicks or morons that you can demonise for agreeing nods from the herd. It would teach people that no, culture fit shouldn’t exist and never will in the future. And hopefully, it would fix political extremism by stopping people getting too caught up among ‘their own side’.

Alas, it will never happen. Facebook and their many rivals don’t want to flip the tea table quite as dramatically as illustrated there. They don’t want to risk losing their users to rival sites that offer them bubbles to retreat to. And they certainly do not want to be in the media’s crosshairs for letting everyone see exactly what their critics think of them.

Yet it needs to happen. Otherwise political polarisation will just get worse and worse, with no end in sight.

Looking to do your part? One way to get involved is to read the Indivisible Guide, which is written by former congressional staffers and is loaded with best practices for making Congress listen. Or follow this publication, connect with us on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.

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