Pop the Bubble
Pop the Bubble is my side project — a plugin for social media users. It identifies fake news and lets users experience the social media feeds of another person. This project was inspired by my own experience during the 2016 election, and my confusion over why so many people in society are surprised by the existence many people with opposing views.
On social media, content that we don’t feel comfortable with is filtered out leaving us without the possibility to challenge our opinions and see what other people see in their news feed. It's how sites such as Facebook make profit: they make the content more engaging for users so that we would spend more time engaging with them and, as a result, see more ads.
The goal: raise awareness
The biggest challenge was to create a way for users to keep social media’s engagement, but at the same time to increase awareness about filter bubbles.
The journey starts with user learning about the product from articles and installing the plugin. Then the user has a chance to experience another person’s feed—potentially the feed of someone who has opposing beliefs. The experience lasts for ten minutes because a longer experience might disrupt the typical user engagement.
Experience your alter ego
Let’s say my feed normally shows the news from the left side. Now after running the plugin I can see the news from the right side.
The goal is to encourage users to experience empathy, but not to make someone stuck in their alter ego. The user is notified if they are experiencing a filter bubble. The plugin would encourage users to experience their alter ego again. At the end of the journey users can share their thoughts on social media to promote the product.
Red signifier — "you are stuck in your filter bubble"
Let’s say you were stuck in your filter bubble for a long time. The plugin logo turns red to raise your awareness. You can choose random personalization or opposite views personalization to experience your social media alter ego. It turns off automatically after 10 minutes or you can switch it off by yourself.
Which news is fake?
The plugin also sparks awareness by showing whether news is from the certified source or if the news might be fake. Certified sources should be based on truth, facts, and scientific research.
How might we fund it?
Funding could be based on the standard $10 payment plus donations, so that everyone could choose how much freedom of choice and filter bubble awareness are worth to them.
My hope is that together we can fight divided society.