People increasingly use personalizing news aggregators for acquiring news online. Despite benefits such as more relevance, filter bubbles, among other risks, have been elicited. So far, there is little empirical evidence on how personalization affects the news diversity of news aggregators. Furthermore, it remains unclear how the news diversity of news aggregators compares to edited newspaper websites. This study investigates the effect of personalization on news diversity and reports the results of an online experiment. Based on browser instrumentation, news articles were queried using personalized and non-personalized profiles. Using a fixed effects model, the news diversity’s change due to personalization was estimated at 8-12%. However, the absolute news diversity of the personalizing news aggregators is comparable to edited newspaper websites with a difference of <5%. Our results contribute empirical insights to the debate on news personalization, finding that filter bubbles stemming from low news diversity are unlikely.
Huellmann, Joschka and Sensmeier, Leonard Wilhelm, "No Filter Bubbles? Evidence from an Online Experiment on the News Diversity of Personalizing News Aggregators" (2022). PACIS 2022 Proceedings. 111.
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