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Filter Bubbles and Fake News: the relation between politics, social media and journalism
The promise of the internet, social media and the new communication platforms is that it would bring us closer together, that it would connect people and provide more knowledge of the other. But the past couple of years it has become increasingly clear that there are strong developments in the opposite direction.
Smart algorithms make sure that content providers on the internet know with the greatest detail what our preferences and interests are. It might seem convenient to be solely provided with a tailored information package, created to match our preferences as closely as possible, but the consequence is that we are potentially only confronted with our own truth. The internet creates Filter Bubbles in which everyone of us is only confronted with their own realities and in which conflicting arguments cannot penetrate. Instead of pluriformity it has transformed the internet in tailored uniformity.
Alongside diversity in news, the reliability of news is increasingly under threat. Facebook and Google do not, or hardly, consider themselves responsible for the truthfulness of the information that is disseminated via their outlets. The US elections were influenced by a large amount of fake news about both sides. How neutral is the selection of information that is provided by Facebook’s newsfeeds? What is the influence of other online and offline news platforms on the public imagination and political processes?
Within the profit model of many news sources it is no longer profitable whether information is correct, it is more important that the information is attractive and gets as many clicks as possible. In a world where fewer people want to pay for news, fact-checking has become a luxury and fake news persists.
During the Culturele Zondag: Uitgesproken Utrecht, just in time for the Dutch elections, Impakt will look at the effect of Filter Bubbles and Newsfeeds on our image of the world and our voting behaviour.
An event by the Impakt Festival, the Stadschouwburg Utrecht and Zin op Zondag in collaboration with the Culturele Zondag: Uitgesproken Utrecht
NB: the event will take place at restaurant Zindering in the Stadsschouwburg, Lucasbolwerk 24, and will be held in Dutch