More of the Same: Website Revisits in the Context of Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers

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dc.contributor.advisor Curtis, Neal
dc.contributor.advisor Goode, Luke
dc.contributor.author Cernic, Anca
dc.date.accessioned 2022-01-12T02:39:11Z
dc.date.available 2022-01-12T02:39:11Z
dc.date.issued 2021 en
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/2292/57960
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this thesis is to assess to what extent New Zealanders engage in website revisits versus serendipitous browsing in the context of filter bubbles and echo chambers. Specifically, this thesis will argue that: 1) website revisit rates provide a more comprehensive means for assessing whether filter bubbles or echo chambers manifest online than past research; 2) a positive correlation between the level of overall browsing and revisit rates points to an increased likelihood of belonging to tailored online worlds the more we engage with the Web; 3) the dynamic above is identified in New Zealander’s browsing based on a nationally representative panel. Past research on filter bubbles and echo chambers usually focused on sole platform types (e.g., blog linking patterns, search engines, or social networks). However, we might belong to filter bubbles or echo chambers on Facebook but not on other online platforms we access. Website revisits rates, primarily researched in the computer science area and reflecting the proportion of websites people visit that were accessed previously, addresses the limitation above by considering all browsing activity. This method allows us to decode echo chambers and filter bubbles as reinforcing loops: if our online behaviour is repetitive and we usually visit more popular domains more frequently, this further exposes us to the same commercial interests, opinions, and personalisation algorithms. Results based on the Nielsen Online Ratings panel reveal this dynamic. That is, people’s browsing is highly repetitive: when going to a new page, the probability it belongs to a domain we have visited within the same month ranges from 93% to 94% between March 2018 and May 2020, with 6 to 7% accounting for serendipitous browsing or accessing new online platforms. Furthermore, increases in pageviews at an overall level or across specific demographic groups are associated with higher return rates, pointing to deep engagement with a limited set of domains driving higher Web usage rather than exploring it. Additionally, more popular platforms, domain categories and subcategories are revisited more frequently by their audiences. Therefore, we both seek and are exposed to content presented through a familiar lens by online giants.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/nz/
dc.title More of the Same: Website Revisits in the Context of Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Media and Communication
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.date.updated 2022-01-09T07:12:12Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en


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