Following the most recent election, some argue that increasing political polarization is dividing Americans. A new app, called Read Across the Aisle, is aiming to combat this by encouraging users to read news from media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum.
Read Across the Aisle works by displaying news sites of varying political alignment. From staunchly conservative Fox News, to the fairly moderate Washington Post, all the way to the left-leaning Huffington Post, Read Across the Aisle offers users the opportunity to read numerous major news sources.
You can select a news source to peruse by choosing it from the list of media sites on the app. Each site's political alignment is designated by an accompanying shade of red or blue. Despite how tempting it is to only read the news sources that match your political preferences, the app requires that you read news from both left and right-leaning sources.
While reading articles, you can also see the site's political leaning on a slider scale at the bottom of the page. This not only conveys the site's alignment, but encourages readers to remember that the content they read is often biased.
Reach Across the Aisle aims to push us out of our filter bubbles, a concept that was popularized by Eli Pariser in his New York Times bestselling novel entitled The Filter Bubble. Essentially, filter bubbles describe the spaces that result when Facebook and other online sites use algorithms to surround you solely with content you agree with. As Pariser warned, this could limit what you see, blinding you to other perspectives.
This was particularly prevalent when Democrats were shocked by Donald Trump's 2016 presidential win, forcing them to recognize that the news presented to them in their filter bubbles didn't match reality. Since this massive political event, there has been increased emphasis on reaching — and now, reading — across the aisle and attempting to understand those with views different from your own.