25 February 2013, 2:30-4:00p,
A panel at CSCW 2013, San Antonio, Texas
Broadcast media are declining in their power to decide which issues and viewpoints will reach large audiences. But new information filters are appearing, in the guise of recommender systems, aggregators, search engines, feed ranking algorithms, and the sites we bookmark and the people and organizations we choose to follow on Twitter. Sometimes we explicitly choose our filters; some we hardly even notice. Critics worry that, collectively, these filters will isolate people in information bubbles only partly of their own choosing, and that the inaccurate beliefs they form as a result may be difficult to correct. But should we really be worried, and, if so, what can we do about it? Our panelists will review what scholars know about selectivity of exposure preferences and actual exposure and what we in the CSCW field can do to develop and test ways of promoting diverse exposure, openness to the diversity we actually encounter, and deliberative discussion.
Aggregators such as Digg, Reddit, and Google News rely on ratings and links to select and present subsets of the large quantity of news and opinion items generated each day. This work requires understanding people's preferences for diversity (CHI 2010), as well as developing methods of selecting diverse sets of items (ICWSM 2009), and presentation techniques to make these sets appealing (CHI 2010).