Glossary: Algorithms & Filter Bubbles

Glossary: Algorithms & Filter Bubbles

Terminology is important. This glossary features the most often used and sometimes misunderstood words, acronyms, and phrases relating to algorithms and filter bubbles.

A series of steps that a computer performs in order to solve a problem or complete a task. Social media platforms and search engines use algorithms to collect the content that users see.

Automatic computer programs that work online, for example, to operate a social media account, and post information and/or search for and find information. In disinformation campaigns, bots can be used to highlight misleading stories and to create an illusion of public support.

Digital footprint
All the information about you that appears online. This can be anything from texts and photos to comments that you have made. Everything you post online leaves a trace.

Filter bubble
A situation in which a person only sees or hears news and information that’s in line with what they already like and believe. Filter bubbles are often created on the internet as a result of algorithms (= sets of rules) that filters the results of someone’s searches according to what they have previously liked.