The Search Query Filter Bubble: Effect of User Ideology on Political Leaning of Search Results Through Query Selection

A. G. Ekström, G. Madison, E. J. Olsson, M. Tsapos

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review

Sammanfattning

It is commonly assumed that personalization technologies used by Google for the purpose of tailoring search results for individual users create filter bubbles, which reinforce users’ political views. Surprisingly, empirical evidence for a personalization-induced filter bubble has not been forthcoming. Here, we investigate whether filter bubbles may result instead from a searcher’s choice of search queries. In the first experiment, participants rated the left-right leaning of 48 queries (search strings), 6 for each of 8 topics (abortion, benefits, climate change, sex equality, immigration, nuclear family, Islam, and taxation). An independent sample of participants were then asked to select one of these queries for each of the 8 topics. With the exception of the topic of Islam, participants were significantly more likely to select a query corresponding to their own political leaning, compared to other queries, explaining between 12% and 39% of the variance. A second experiment investigated the effect of the political leaning of the same queries on the overall political leaning of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) in Google Search. The top six results of each SERP were rated collectively by a third group of participants, explaining 36.3% of the variance across all 48 search terms (p 
Originalspråkengelska
Antal sidor17
TidskriftInformation Communication and Society
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2023 juli 4

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
  • Mänsklig interaktion med IKT
  • Psykologi

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