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Fake News: Personal Bias

How to Identify and Avoid Fake News

The Filter Bubble

According to Oxford Living Dictionary

The filter bubble is largely connected to social media, especially Facebook. We isolate ourselves from different opinions and perspectives, which makes it difficult for us to change our minds and be open to other beliefs. Here is a visual representation of how the filter bubble works (borrowed from Rose-Stockwell's How We Broke Democracy):

Watch the TED Talk above from Eli Pariser, who coined the term "filter bubble."

Google & the Filter Bubble

Have you ever wondered how and why Google orders search results? Have you ever noticed that your search results are different than a friends? This is because Google tailors its results to the individual. Do not make the mistake that your top search results are the BEST results. This is far from the case. Your top results are based on your searching history and ads. Watch the video below to learn more: 

Cognitive Bias

What is cognitive bias?

"A cognitive bias is a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering, or other cognitive process, often occurring as a result of holding onto one's preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information"


There are five types of cognitive bias:

  • Anchoring bias
  • Blind Spot bias
  • Conformation bias
  • Negativity bias
  • Outcome bias

Watch the video below to learn more about how cognitive bias can lead you to believe in fake news. 

Scan Your Environment

Now that you know about the filter bubble and confirmation bias, it's a good idea to take a step back and examine where you get your news. You can look at the blank media bias chart below and try to place the news sources you use regularly. Do they all seem to belong to one side of the map? How do they align with the official Media Bias Chart? Another idea, is to rate your own biases using AllSides. You can find the link below. 

News Feeds and Political Bias

The world has become more divided than ever in terms of political ideology. Our own political beliefs play a large role in how we view and consume news. Filter bubbles play into our political beliefs, so much so that we are stuck in an echo chamber of news that confirms our beliefs. What news we see largely depends on our political beliefs. This has caused liberals and conservatives to have wildly different news feeds. The Wall Street Journal has created a site that shows side-by-side the different Facebook news feeds between liberals and conservatives. Check the link below: