Facebook, off late has been having a bad reputation for many different things, if not for good, it is rightfully so.
There is this fake news problem which seems to be impending and does not seem to find a fix. And if not for worse, the social networking giant has been accused of spreading news articles which have influenced the people in the voting and has been held responsible for the unexpected result of this year’s election that was held recently for selecting the President of the US.
Though the first issue, if given some time to ponder over and worked upon can still be fixed by the company, the second one seems to be something which is an inherent issue of probably every social networking site. So if you have been a regular user of Facebook for quite some time, then a profile of all the content based on your past interactions, has been built up slowly and of course, unknowingly which Facebook thinks you would love to see.
See What You Like, Don’t See What You Don’t Like
It is a known fact that Facebook keeps a track of all the stuff you are watching on the network and then suggests you pages and content that might be interesting to you. So, whenever you like a page or a post, or just any other form of content like a video, the social networking service observes and then records all your preferences which then generate a news feed that has been curated algorithmically and which possibly caters to all your interests. At the same time, it also means that you will not be able to see anything which you might, perhaps not agree with or something you do not like.
Like for example, When Trump got elected as the next President of the US, the Democrats from around the US or for that matter, anyone who was against Trump in the whole world, did not see any celebrations on social media, even though he won with almost half of the country voting for him. That is just because all these content got filtered out.
Know Them Better
The new app, Escape Your Bubble is just a simple Chrome extension which is here to try and help people understand a little bit more about each other. Once this app has been installed, it gives out a question asking about whom you wish to understand a bit better, either the Democrats or the Republicans. Based on the choice, the Chrome extension then adds all the posts that have been contrasting to your news feed all this while. The content will be curated from all the high-quality news sources and will consist of articles that are meant to give you an insight about all the positive qualities of the group which you wish to understand better.
There have been reports from users who have uses the app that shortly after installation, an article that features a pink banner reading that it has been put there by the extension had appeared. The users who had prompted the app that they wish to understand the Republicans a bit more were linked to an article, a New Yorker piece about the lives of poor people in small town Ohio. The article had offered a new perspective to a Democrat about why anyone in the United States would ever vote for a Republican like Trump, an idea which might probably seem completely alien to a person who had voted for Clinton.
Though the extension has right now been aimed just at the Republicans and the Democrats of the United States, the rest of the world will also be able to use it. Like, there was a recent write-up about the United Kingdom called “The Brexit referendum results that shocked millions across the UK”.
Well, it is high time for everyone to stop ourselves from further demarcation and polarization and it is time to understand the viewpoints of others too, which would definitely make the world a better place to live in. Yes, it is possible but it just needs us to try a little bit harder.