How is Google Shaping the World Around You? Your Filter Bubble

Does Google shape the world around you- what you think and see? What stories find you, delivered to you in your home? DuckDuckGo wanted to find out.

In 2012 DuckDuckGo ran a study on Google’s filter bubble showing it may have influenced the 2012 U.S. Presidential election by inserting tens of millions of more links for Obama than for Romney during the election.

Since then, Google claims it has taken steps to reduce its problem of feeding people information within their “Filter Bubble,” but DuckDuckGo, a privacy focused search engine’s latest research shows a vastly different situation.

Most people saw results unique to them. On the first page of most peoples search results, Google fed links to some people and not others. Even news and video results varied significantly. When people searched at the same time, people were shown different sources, even when accounting for location. Being logged out of Google offered very little filter bubble protection, neither did using Google in private browsing mode.

It’s simply not possible to use Google search and avoid its filter bubble, but you can use DuckDuckGo.



Photo: “_MG_5208” by gordonhymers is licensed under CC BY 2.0