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Algorithmic Personalization of Search: Does it Change Votes?

Sat, May 26, 8:00 to 9:15, Hilton Prague, Floor: M, Yoga Room (Cybex Health Club)


Countries in the EU, especially Germany, have expressed a concern that the algorithmic personalization of search results could be influencing electoral voting. The Quello Search Project brings evidence to bear on this question in a dataset collected from six EU nations and the United States. The dataset contains information on the influence of search as well as other online and offline media. Analyses of the data find little evidence of filter bubbles or echo chambers. Search personalization seems to have little impact on voting, suggesting that worries about the influence of search are overstated. The most important source of political information continues to be mass media, particularly TV. The paper closes with some implications of these results for media policy in the EU.