Should Media Companies Burst Filter Bubbles? — The reliance for accurate news
Filter bubbles have recently taken over what people see, hear and learn from the world today. Social media companies take the information of all the users actions and sell that to other companies which then pay the websites to spread their ideas/products to the people who are most likely to actively participate in it. Like every issue there are advantages and disadvantages to the effects of this selling and purchasing of information. So the question that comes to ask is, should social media companies burst filter bubbles? In my opinion, the good and bad apply to different sections of the effects of this issue, and the solution to this issue could be easily done in compromise of the two parties that benefits the society as a whole. However, in today’s day it seems that filter bubbles are harming more them helping society.
The positive light this shines on is the economic industry. If companies are able to market to the right people through easy and effective ways, it is an economically intellectual move. People also benefit from this because products they are interested in are being shown to them without having to go out and look for them. In basic terms, not much harm can be done when a lipstick is advertised on my Facebook page because I liked makeup tutorial videos the other day. It might seem a little bit strange at first, however in the long run my personal Facebook like of makeup is not information that threatens my security.
In contrast, the negative connotations come when important information gets blocked out due to the push and distraction of advertisements. The filter bubble the media user is in starts to block out any information that is contrary to the person’s desires, views and beliefs. Going back to the makeup example, if one company is trying to sell their lipstick to me, social media will block out any negative messages about that brand. I will never know that that company is being sued for animal abuse over that lipstick because of that filter bubble I am now in due to the fact I liked some makeup tutorials.
The same issue is now being presented in the 2016 US election. Parties, like companies, bought information about social media users and if their patterns matched that party’s ideas, the political party pushed positive videos about their side and blocked out any positive videos of any other party. While it seems that this issue can be resolved by getting people to research and look at other sources for the right information, in today’s day people barely have enough time to exercise for 30 minutes let alone take the initiative to find accurate information and educate themselves. With people not having enough time, the instant spread of fake news and the filter bubble of social media, society today is being blocked out from the vital information it needs to know about the world.
The next steps for this issue is finding a compromise that keeps the economic world turning but also accurately spreads informational non-filtered and non-biased news. The solution is to not fully pop the filter bubble but decrease it to a size that does not disrupt the opinion of people due to the lack of accurate information. Lipsticks can still be advertised to makeup lovers but the negative actions of companies should not be blocked out. Social media companies should allow the flow of accurate knowledge with the economic push of regular marketing strategies which will strengthen the understanding of important issues by the public while also allowing businesses to gain the attention of potential buyers. People in today’s society rely on social media to present them with accurate and important news, and social media outlets need to deliver on their ethical impact. No long term harm can be done by knowing more information, the real dangers come from people being sheltered from facts and brainwashed with false information.