Communicative Feedback Loops in the Digital Society

dc.contributor.authorTrilling, Damian
dc.date.accessioned2024-05-30T09:11:49Z
dc.date.available2024-05-30T09:11:49Z
dc.date.issued2024-05-27
dc.description.abstractContemporary communication is often characterized using metaphors as “echo chambers” or “filter bubbles.” Despite the popularity of these terms, however, growing concerns about vague definitions are complemented by empirical evidence that contests their widespread existence. Nonetheless, today’s media environment offers ample opportunities for human and/or algorithmic selection processes with undesirable outcomes. To reconcile these two observations, I propose taking a feedback-loop perspective. Such a perspective explains how processes can reinforce themselves without producing catastrophic consequences. This can solve the paradox that while extrapolating from typical filter bubble and/or echo chamber models results in full radicalization within a short period, this outcome has not, despite the long-standing presence of the relevant technologies, become omnipresent. After mapping different types of feedback loops in communication research, I review various empirical approaches, discuss how they can improve research on feedback-loop phenomena, and consider how this can enable us to build better theories of communication in the digital society.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis publication has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) (grant no.: 16DII121, 16DII122, 16DII123, 16DII124, 16DII125, 16DII126, 16DII127, 16DII128 – “Deutsches Internet-Institut”).
dc.identifier.citationTrilling, D. (2024). Communicative Feedback Loops in the Digital Society. Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.34669/wi.wjds/4.2.4
dc.identifier.doi10.34669/wi.wjds/4.2.4
dc.identifier.issn2748-5625
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.weizenbaum-library.de/handle/id/685
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherWeizenbaum Institute
dc.rightsopen access
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.subjectfeedback loop
dc.subjectecho chamber
dc.subjectfilter bubble
dc.subjectrecommender systems
dc.subjectalgorithm
dc.titleCommunicative Feedback Loops in the Digital Society
dc.typeArticle
dc.type.statuspublishedVersion
dcmi.typeText
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.journaltitleWeizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society
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