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Filter Bubbles and the Deep Web: How to burst your Filter Bubble!

Content created by University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Reused and adapted here with their kind permission.


So now that you know what a filter bubble is, what are some ways to get outside the bubble? You can't get out of the bubble all the way, but these options can mitigate the effects of the filter bubble are described in Eli Pariser's blog post "10 Ways to Pop Your Filter Bubble."
Creative Commons licensed photo from Pixabay

Get rid of your search history

Your web history provides Google with a lot of information about you and is used to help determine what results Google gives you. To delete your web history follow the instructions:

Delete searches & other activity from your account

Turn off targeted ads

You can turn off targeted advertising at the browser level. Click on the links below to turn off targeted ads for a particular browser.

Delete your Browser Cookies

The first thing to do to mitigate the effects of the filter bubble is to "burn" your cookies. baked chocolate chip cookies Cookies are data that your web browser stores when you are on a web . If permission is enabled, other sites can then tell what you were looking at and use that information to determine what to show you next.

Click on the links below to learn how to delete your cookies so ad companies can't use them to personalize ads to you:

You can also disable tracking cookies altogether. Follow the directions below for each browser.

Creative Commons licensed photo from Pixabay

Keep your Facebook data private and hide your birthday

Facebook often makes changes that cause private data to become public. There is no 100 percent effective way to stop this. Below are instructions to make your data as private as possible and turn off instant personalization. Ad companies can also more easily identify you if you provide Facebook with your birthday. If you do, leave off the year to make it more difficult for ad companies to identify you.

  • Basic Privacy Settings & Tools
    There are, though, settings you can change in Facebook to make your data as private as possible. Learn about Basic Privacy Settings & Tools on Facebook.
  • Turn Off Instant Personalization
    Facebook also gives information about you to other websites. This is called Instant Personalization. Learn how to turn off Instant Personalization, on ZDNet.

Creative Commons licensed photo from Pixabay

Go Incognito, or better yet, Anonymous

Personalizing your browser gives websites information about you. You can stop this by using default settings. You can also use an incognito/anonymous browser, like the ones below:

  • You might also choose to use, an alternative browser that does not track your history and is private, avoiding the filter bubble.
  • Even in private browsing mode in standard search engines, results will still be tailored to you based on information such as your location, which search engines know because of your IP address. To stop this completely, you would have to go completely anonymous. Sites like (which has downloadable software for free) allow you to do this.

Creative Commons licensed photo from Pixabay