SHOULD SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES BURST FILTER BUBBLES?

Many, if not all social media platforms use algorithms in order to create personalized user-generated content. Before, posts were ordered based on the time they were posted. However, it has now changed where posts are ordered based on relevancy. Relevancy is determined by a user’s search history and various online interactions. This information is then collected and used to customize each social media user’s experience, therefore creating filter bubbles.

Filter bubbles are very controversial. When asking myself “should social media companies burst filter bubbles?” there are two perspectives that come to mind: corporate and public. These two groups play very different roles in regards to social media, and therefore are affected by filter bubbles differently.

As we all know, businesses are dependent on financial gain. Therefore, social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, need to keep users happy in order to keep making money. Filter bubbles do a great job at keeping users satisfied as they provide them with the content that they want to see. Therefore, businesses have better luck retaining users, in turn, providing themselves with a higher profit. As technology advances, I hope to see more intelligent algorithms. This would make for better filter bubbles and an even better social media experience for users- great for businesses and the public!

Through a public viewpoint, filter bubbles can be seen as a good thing as they can provide a user-friendly experience by providing personalized content that fits to each user’s views and interests. Personally, there are times when I enjoy having filter bubbles, such as when I watch one dog video, and ten more pop up after that. However, this can also be negative as the information being viewed is distorted and misrepresented. For example, during the American 2016 election, my Facebook feed was dominated by negative views on Trump. This made it seem that he was not a strong contender and that the majority of people disliked him. However, I was proven wrong when I discovered that he was elected the President of the United States. This was a big shock to me, and in times like this, I would have liked to view other people’s perspectives, even if they did not align with my own.

Although there are positives, filter bubbles unfortunately do not allow users to become exposed to challenging viewpoints from around the world. Personally, I think that it is important for everyone to be exposed to different perspectives and views as it can create a more democratic society. I believe that there should be an option (that all social media users are aware of) that lets them choose whether they want to ‘burst’ their filter bubbles or keep them. This approach would only work if each user is educated on what a filter bubble is, and how it personally affects them-which I believe is extremely important. This would be a great option for social media users because it would allow them to switch back and forth as they please, creating a more enriching social media experience.