We all have one! But what are they, how do they exist, and why?
In the article, "The filter bubble and its effect on online personal health information," Harald Holone explains,
Google essentially creates a feedback loop just for you, analyzing and then predicting the type of search results you want to see in order to keep you coming back to the platform.
Social media feeds work similarly. Our feeds in Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, are not linear. They are instead fed to us by an algorithm that is designed to keep us engaged on the platforms. The more we see that we "like," or engage with, the more similar content we get, thus shutting out other views and ideas. In his article for the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Mims explains
We don't always like being presented with information we disagree with, right? This is called confirmation bias. We prefer to have our current beliefs affirmed, rather than being pushed to change our minds. So, an algorithm, powered by artificial intelligence exists in Google and on social media to feed you news you like, things you agree with, and things to keep you engaged. The deeper we sink into the our bubbles, the more limited our view on what's going on in the world. So how do we break out of this?
A bias is a conscious or unconscious preference or view towards a particular topic. It's like a filter that covers a topic and alters the way a person sees or understands it.
Most of us have difficulty escaping our biases, they can be deeply engrained in us. But it's important to be aware of biases and how they might affect our understanding of a topic. Similarly, it's important to be aware of a news outlet or author's biases when reading information. The media chart below provides insight into our most popular news sources and their political leanings.
NOTE: This chart is helpful guidance, but not all encompassing. Some of these news sources may publish a range of left or right-leaning materials depending on the topic, author, or other circumstances. Similarly, just because a news source is far left or right-leaning, doesn't mean that everything the publication prints is false, it just means you should read a range of sources to get a clearer picture of an issue.