Solving The News Bubble Problem

The technology for delivering news to consumers is too good now. Facebook, for example, can serve up only the types of content they already know will interest you. The problem with that model is that each political group ends up in an information bubble where they only see the stuff with which they already agree. That doesn’t make for a healthy republic.

So how do you solve that?

I would like to see special URLs (like Bitly shortened links) that automatically bring the best counter-points with every political story. And let’s say the selected story plus the best counterpoints pop up in a split-screen format, so you can’t miss the opposing views. 

That would give publications the option of creating these special “balanced” links or sometimes ignoring them and going their own way. This system would improve over time because consumers would complain when the balancing links are omitted, and they will complain when the balancing links include weaker counter-arguments than are available. So as long as the public is watching, balance should come to the news links over time.

Alternately, the big publishing companies can continue to do their bubble reporting and a third-party could create the “balance links” for anyone who wants to Tweet or share responsibly. 

Regular readers of this blog will recognize this as the “bad version” of an idea that is useful as a starting point. I make no claim that this idea can work as described. Maybe some of you have ideas for improving it. That’s how things get done.

It’s a system, not a goal.

You might enjoy reading my book because it is all about how systems are better than goals.

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