The Filter Bubble App

In the Filter Bubble App students design their own platform and work on a series of design issues related to the phenomenon of filter bubbles. Students can immediately see the influence of certain choices of social media platforms through their design choices.

The educative app is designed to be used in secondary education classrooms, and consists of a combination of individual and group work as well as whole class discussions/conversations.

Example of ‘the algorithm activity’ in the app

Students are taken through the design in three different roles and phases. They start on the platform as user and are then familiarised with basic knowledge of the workings of social media platforms. In a second phase, the student becomes platform developer and learns more about technical aspects of platforms. In the third last phase, students become platform owner and are invited to reflect on certain (ethical) choices that have to be made for the policy of the platform, and are challenged to think about ‘the platform of the future’. By doing the (design) exercises in the app and discussing their choices with their peers, students build more knowledge, awareness and agency regarding the workings of social media. The app pays particular attention to the impact of ‘filter bubbles’ on perspective taking and opinion formation.

This video is part of the app. In this video we show students what filter bubbles are (in Dutch).