Teenagers’ appreciation of social media filter bubbles after an intervention that aims to increase knowledge and awareness.
Eeden, R.S. van
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This study is related to the development of the Anti-Bubble application and examines both the effect of a filter bubble intervention and youth’s appreciation on digital filter bubbles in social media platforms. Pre- and post-test surveys were carried out to analyse the effect of an intervention aimed at influencing filter bubble knowledge, awareness, (de)personalisation strategy knowledge, strategy usage, and filter bubble appreciation, which consisted of separate sub clusters. In addition, interviews were held with youth that went deeper into filter bubble appreciation. The results show that overall, participants positively appreciate social media filter bubbles, although it is unsure whether they understood the long-term consequences of filtering. Moreover, an effect was found for the strategy knowledge cluster, but other significant effects were found. A preferences contradiction was observed, as participants simultaneously preferred filtering as well as diverse opinions in their social media. It is suspected that youth does not fully comprehend filtering disadvantages, that youth prefers filtering because of its user-friendly advantages, and that the participants did not comprehend the full complexity of the filter bubble concept. Future research should investigate filter bubbles in domains other than the social media domain, to possibly add new perspectives to the ongoing filter bubble debate.