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How US elections shed light on the filter bubble phenomenon

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Just do a Google search on “Filter bubble” and you’ll be surprized of the many results returned. The recent US presidential elections have shed light on this phenomenon first hypothetized by Eli Pariser in 2011, and subject to much debate (see also our upcoming article on 18 Jan 2017).

Yet the facts are there. Right after the elections of 08 November 2016, the interest for “filter bubble” increased fourfold (see picture below).

Interestingly a second surge can be observed on 25 November 2016, that reaches the Index 100. I wasn’t able to correlate this increase to a particular event but crawled the Google search history and saw a good number of publications on ‘filter bubble” around that date. Who sparked the fire is unclear to me ; on that very date of 25 Nov I could only find out about wired.com which published an article on the subject.

Even more interesting is the magnitude of the 25 Nov 2016 surge : it reaches the same magnitude as the one which was reached after Eli Pariser’s book got published.

What this 12-year trends overview shows is that Pariser’s book (published in 2011) has had a lasting effect on the interest for the “filter bubble” phenomenon. Without crunching numbers you can guess that the volume of searches after the publication was twice as much the volume before. I guess the upcoming 2017 elections in France and Germany will foster once again attention on the filter bubble effect.


Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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