Today POPVOX, the neutral nonpartisan platform for legislative information and civic engagement introduced its newest feature, the “Filter Bubble Wrap” to help users get a familiar partisan spin even when viewing neutral information available on POPVOX.
Filter Bubble Wrap allows a user to select “Democrat” or “Republican” to trigger a series of site changes designed to align with the experience of most Americans' news consumption. “A person selecting ‘Democrat’ will see a blue-themed site with Democratic legislators framed in a soft light,” POPVOX Lead Designtist, William Donnell said. "Those selecting 'Republican' will get a Red theme and more conservative design."
“A proprietary algorithm changes politically-charged words to fit the user’s worldview,” explained lead developer, Bryan Dease. “So whether you see ‘death tax’ or ‘inheritance tax’ in a bill description depends on your party selection.”
POPVOX co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Rachna Choudhry, noted that independent research has shown overwhelmingly that people want to be silo-ed and microtargeted. (Otherwise, why would Presidential candidates do it, amirite?) “Given the strength of election year messaging, people get information about public issues in very different ways. Think of Filter Bubble Wrap as a Google Translate for politics.”
POPVOX sees the potential for Filter Bubble Wrap to be applied not just to legislative information but to all kinds of communication.
POPVOX COO, Ben Harris, imagines a day in which a conservative mass email could be run through Filter Bubble Wrap and emerge “suitable for MSNBC.” “Imagine Fox News repurposing DailyKos content with just one click of a mouse. That's the potenital of FBW."
POPVOX co-founder and CEO, Marci Harris, thinks Filter Bubble Wrap could alleviate partisan gridlock: “'Compromise' in the traditional sense," she says, "will soon be disrupted by technology. Filter Bubble Wrap will make it possible for Members of Congress to speak the same language without actually speaking the same language.”