This Little Corner of the Internet Lets You Argue With Strangers

Keep your friends close but your enemies at a safe distance

By Evan Bleier

 
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17 November 2017

Up there with turkey, football and passing out on the couch, breaking bread with folks who might not share your opinions is a time-honored Thanksgiving tradition. 

To help us step out our so-called echo chambers, a trio of Newcastle University students created Burst Your Bubble, an app that lets users chat with people they disagree with.

The way Burst works is simple. Users submit topics they’d like to discuss and are matched with people who have a different opinion. After the matching process is done, users chat one-to-one instead of in public to (theoretically) avoid trolls, excess aggression and hate speech.

For safety, users only have to share a first name and photo and can permanently end a chat at any time.

“Other media and social networks put people in echo-chambers - our mission is to change that,” developer Marwan Elwaraki told ChronicleLive. “The idea isn’t that you change your mind — if I’m pro-Brexit, I don’t have to come away anti-Brexit, but maybe the other person sees I’m not just a racist, I see that they’re not just trying to ruin my country, for example.”

Currently available on the App Store for free, an Android beta version should be available soon.

Call it prep for the holidays. 

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