Reading: Digital filter bubbles and Fake news

Digital filter bubbles and Fake news

The term “digital filter bubble” refers to the results of the algorithms that decide what we encounter online, creating a set of different online universes for each of us. All those sites - such as Facebook or Google -  that offer personalized content selections based on our digital identity and footprints (our browsing history, age, gender, location, etc.), actually build floods of articles and posts that support our current opinions and perspectives to make sure that we enjoy what we see and we do not leave those sites. By confirming your vision of the world, filter bubbles can cause cognitive biases, amplifying their negative impact on our ability to think in a critical manner.

Thankfully, it is not difficult to pop the filter bubble, for example by:

  • Using ad-blocking browser extensions
  • Reading news sites and blogs which aim to provide a wide range of perspectives
  • Switching our focus from entertainment to education. 
  • Deleting or blocking browser cookies. 

The issue of the filter bubble is connected to the capacity of distinguishing real and misleading news. Have a look at this infographic by EAVI- Media Literacy for Citizenship, a non-profit organisation based on Brussels:

beyond fake news

Source: Eavi. 

More and more, images and videos can also be fake or misleading. This guide, by First Draft, on how to verify the veracity of visual media can help you out [1]:

verification of photos


[1] First Draft (2019). First Draft's Essential Guide to: Verifying Online Information.

Last modified: Tuesday, 14 June 2022, 4:11 PM