Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, speaks during an interview at Viva Technology conference in Paris, France, on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Marlene Awaad | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, speaks during an interview at Viva Technology conference in Paris, France, on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Social media can often be an echo chamber, where views your hear and articles you read are just there to reaffirm your own beliefs. That was the view of a panel on Thursday which included Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and Paul Hilder, the co-founder of political crowdfunding site Crowdpac.

Wales, who has been vocal on the spread of “fake news”, said that social media firms can do more to help break the echo chamber by feeding people articles that challenge people’s existing views.

What I would like to see from Facebook, if they flashed up one morning with a new option to say, ‘help me get out of the filter bubble’, where instead of you showing me things that my friends share … show me something you think I won’t like … I don’t want to see crazy crap, but I want to see, thinkers, politicians, news, that’s going to challenge me,” Wales said at the Viva Tech conference.

“There is a deeper more reflective approach than saying I don’t want to be just a reptilian sort of of thing clicking on tidbits of food, that I want. I want to be a human being and be given thoughtful, reflective ideas.”

Hilder jumped in and added that Facebook could be under threat as a platform if it does not adopt an approach like this.

“If Facebook doesn’t really get this, it doesn’t find ways to more deeply enrich their users’ lives over the next period, then they are going to be challenged by insurgents,” Hilder said.
“I actually think that we are living now in an environment where if needs are not being met then the challenge will come faster and faster … and I think that we should not assume that monopoly platforms at the moment will be monopolies forever.”

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