The Filter Bubble: What’s the Problem, and what (if anything) should be done about it?

November 6, 2020 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Social media and other online information sources are charged with creating "filter bubbles": sheltered clusters of people with similar views, which foster polarized opinions and partisan zeal, degrade civility, and destabilize politics. Is this phenomenon real? Is it new? How does it work? And if its effects are that bad, how can they be fixed? Jane Bambauer argues that filter bubbles are more about easy contact with our friends than algorithmic manipulation. If this is so, then "fixing" the filter bubble will require messing with modern practices of socializing – not just for white supremacists, but for everybody. Joining Jane for an online conversation about the filter bubble, its causes, effects, and – if needed – corrections are David Brin, Mark Lemley, Ted Parson, and Eugene Volokh.

When: Friday, November 6, 2020, 1:30 – 3:00 PM Pacific time.

Register to attend: ­­

Background reading: 

Jane R. Bambauer, Saura Masconale, and Simone M. Sepe, "Cats, Cars, and Nazis." (Introduction)

Steven L. Johnson, Brent Kitchens, and Peter Gray, "Facebook serves as an echo chamber, especially for conservatives. Blame its algorithm." Op-ed, Washington Post, Oct 26, 2020.

Mark A. Lemley and Eugene Volokh, "Law, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality." (Excerpts)

David Brin, "Insistence of Vision" (short story)