Project Atlas (FYP)
Continuing from my dissertation research on the topic of personalized information filtering system and Singapore youth’s reading habits, I worked on my FYP which is to derive a non evasive way to encourage Singaporean youths to look for more diverse information and opinions in an effort to break out of their online filter bubbles.
The entry point into this project was that, through my primary research with the target audience (youths), I realised that majority of the youths actually have the habit of looking up additional information online when they come across suspicious articles online or via their social media platform. However, the process of looking for additional information may be tedious. Thus, I decided to come up with a better way to encourage the youths to seek out information through a browser extension that they can download from Google Chrome. The browser extension will be installed directly to their browser, and each time they open up a “New Tab”, they can view latest news updated hourly through web crawler and DuckDuckGo’s search engine. In this way, they will not miss out on any news or take time scrolling through their social media platforms to get news updates.
DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. In this way, the user can view search results of the same as everyone else and will not be subjected to filtered information according to their interest, preferences, browsing histories etc.
You may view my in-depth research here: atlasprojectlive.com/research
Unlike most recommender systems, the proposed recommender systems will recommend news that the user will not ususally come across. This is to prevent them from reading too much similar news and avoid putting them in a filter bubble as well. The data will be drawn from the “Stats” page whereby the application will track what news the user search for or read on a daily basis to provide accurate recommendations. They can switch back to their “Feed” as well if they do not want to see recommended content. This is done to provide user autonomy according to value sensitive design.
The browser extension comes with an additional plugin that users can use when reading news on external websites/platforms. Users can highlight specific words that they would like to search for, and the plug-in will generate unfiltered search results by DuckDuckGo instantly on the same page.