Briefcase: Partisan Internet Searches

Guest Jacqueline Lipton


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Recently concerns have been raised that companies like Google and Facebook filter the information we actually see online in ways that allow us to become polarized in our political views. Some wonder if the government should regulate search engines and social networks to prevent this.

Professor Jacqueline Lipton, who teaches internet law at the University of Houston Law Center, says "Government regulation would be difficult because of its impact on free speech. In a country like the United States, the polarizing of views online might be one of the costs of our First Amendment rights."

But, Lipton claims, there might be ways companies can attempt to ensure that the internet provides diverse views.

"There have been calls for companies like Google and Facebook to be more transparent with their search algorithms," she said. "This could make us more aware of the extent to which information is filtered or tailored based on our personal preferences."

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