Need for Controlling of the Filter Bubble Effect
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In the article by Piasecki and colleagues, authors justifiably used, among other sources, Google Search within their search strategy for the identification of existing ethical guidelines for epidemiological research and public health practice (Piasecki et al. 2017). As stated in their article, they used such a search strategy to meet three general conditions of transparency, replicability, and lack of bias (Piasecki et al. 2017). However, it has been shown that internet search engines in general, and Google Search specifically, has a tendency to selectively expose information—basically they use algorithms that personalize information in that sense that users are increasingly exposed to information that confirms their own beliefs and attitudes (Holone 2016). This effect, commonly referred to as the bubble effect, could have produced a selection bias in search methodology implemented by Piasceki and colleagues, and therefore impede the generalizability of their research findings.