A polarizing election has left the country deeply divided and social media widens that chasm by surrounding us with like-minded people. Recognizing how difficult it is to empathize when you never hear the other side’s voice, the KIND Foundation built a tool to bridge the gap.
“Pop Your Bubble” is a web application that analyzes your Facebook profile for factors like location, age, gender, likes, and shares. It finds your ideological opposites and invites you to follow their pages. Everyone the tool surfaces has opted in to have their profile followed.
Following isn’t the same as becoming friends with someone on Facebook and that’s by design. The KIND Foundation — a nonprofit launched by the KIND snack company — wants people to focus on learning and listening, rather than debating.
“We encourage you to start by simply listening,” the website says. “Rather than engaging in hostile dialogue, embrace this opportunity to consider how others see and interact with the world.”
The tool, first spotted by Quartz, encourages users to follow at least 10 people with different views. After that, a user can choose to have others follow his or her profile.
Pop Your Bubble was inspired by a KIND Foundation survey in which only five percent of people said they regularly see posts from Facebook users with opposing viewpoints. Fifty-three percent of those respondents said they’d be willing to “push a button and be exposed to opinions different than their own.”