A news website that helps you to get out of filter bubbles
In the modern age, where information explodes every minute, everyone has easy access to all sorts of information via the internet and social media. We all do this skimming and sharing and clicking on Instagram, Facebook, or twitter, and it seems harmless. But many of us are uninformed about or uninterested in the forces affecting what we see online and how content affects us in return — and that ignorance has consequences. The term “filter bubble” refers to the results of the algorithms that dictate what we encounter online. Filter Bubbles can lead to people becoming used to hearing what they want to hear, which can cause them to react more radically when they see an opposing viewpoint. That is why I started this project. Border is a news website that provides a new way of reading news that encourages audiences to read unfamiliar articles.
Filter bubbles have become a serious problem with news
It’s easy for people to live in a “filter bubble” of media that reinforces their worldview and excludes other views. Filter bubbles caused people to become insulated from alternative viewpoints. A further issue with filter bubbles is that they are something we can only opt-out of, not something we consent to. “One thing that’s new that is a little concerning is people seeking out things that are really not giving them the facts, and then staying in there. They’re playing to a narrow worldview—that is a concern,” said Bill Gates, one of a growing number of technology leaders wrestling with the issue of filter bubbles.
of the people think they care about important issues.
of the people think it is not difficult to find and update the latest news of important issues.
Is it difficult to escape filter bubbles?
To clarify the problem and get more information, I started a survey to understand the situation more in-depth. One thing that I wanted to know was: is it hard for people to leave their filter bubbles and find the news out of their social media? The answer was no. There are too many ways to find news of a broader worldview. The major problem of filter bubbles is that people do not want to leave the comfort zones that are built by their filter bubbles.
– Lawrance, 25, Airport Representative
– Johnson, 24, Student
What makes people unwilling to break filter bubbles?
Based on what I found from the survey, I started some interviews to find out a solution to this problem. I asked the interviewees the reason why they are unwilling to read the news that is not on their social media feeds. I found out one of the reasons is because the news outside of their filter bubbles is too hard to understand, which makes the users want to stay in their comfort zones. It is just easier. The news that contains unfamiliar information, for instance, complicated terminologies or long context that is hard to catch up, is stopping people from reading them.
A website that helps you to understand the unfamiliar issues with contents that you are already interested in
Based on the research, I realized that even though it is difficult to quickly understand a totally unfamiliar issue, we can still know more from reading related articles. A big issue might contains multiple areas of information. For instance, an article about environmental issue might include business related content. It is always comfortable to read that we are already familiar with. Therefore, I want to help the users to understand more issues by reading articles they like.
One article of each category
On the homepage, the "your daily feed" section gives an articles of each category based on users' interests.
View articles with multiple categories
The plus button allows users to select a secondary category and view articles with multiple different issues.
Control the proportion of areas of information
By dragging the bar of the secondary category, users are allowed to control the proportion of different types of issues in news.
Understand the contexts and terminologies
The highlighted words allows users to access the related articles to understand the contexts of the issues.
Be interested in the issues you care about the least
The recommended articles relate to both the current article and the categories that the users care the least.