Social Media and the Filter Bubble: Curated Flows Theory, Facebook, and News Diversity

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University of Alabama Libraries

I utilize curated flows theory to explore the case for a filter bubble on Facebook, as well as exploring the impacts of this potential filter bubble environment on climate change misinformation. Three hypothesized are utilized in this research. I hypothesize that individuals who use Facebook to seek out news will have a less balanced repertoire of left-leaning and right-leaning news sources are more likely to deny the seriousness of climate change, and are less likely to believe the news media is effectively providing accurate information on climate change than those who use other platforms. To test these hypotheses, I utilize data from the 2020 Reuters Institute Digital News Report survey (Newman et al.) as well as three bootstrapped analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) tests. Hypothesis 1 is found to be partially supported, providing evidence for the existence of a filter bubble effect created by Facebook’s News Feed algorithm.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Curated Flows, Echo Chamber, Facebook, Filter Bubble, News Diversity, Social media