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Need to Escape Your Social Media Information Bubble? There's an App for That

By Published on .

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Monday, March 6:

It was an eventful weekend! Per usual, President Trump tweeted something outrageous -- in fact, something so outrageous that it's been completely dominating the news cycle (see No. 1) ... which is arguably very useful for the Trump White House, because it's diverting some attention from, you know, other stuff (see, for instance, No. 6). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. New York's Daily News offered up a single-word main headline on its Sunday front page -- and then did it again today:

2. So where did the president get the idea that Obama tapped Trump Tower phones in the first place? Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times have an idea: "A Conspiracy Theory's Journey From Talk Radio to Trump's Twitter."

3. Meanwhile, this news from The Independent this morning is ... not good: "Ukranian businessman with links to Donald Trump and Russia dies in unexplained circumstances." The British newspaper's Rachel Roberts notes that Alex Oronov's passing is just one in a recent string of mysterious deaths of Russian diplomats, including:

Russia's permanent ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, died last month in New York after suddenly becoming ill on his way to work the day before his 65th birthday. ... The Russian Consul in Athens, Andrei Malanin, 55, was found dead on the floor of his apartment in Greece in January. ... Russian diplomat Sergei Krivov, 63, was found unconscious having suffered severe head injuries at the Russian consulate in New York on US election day . ... Former KGB chief Oleg Erovinkin, who was suspected of helping British spy Christopher Steele draft a dossier on Donald Trump, was found dead in the back of his car last Boxing Day.

4. ICYMI: The front page of Sunday's New York Times included a story by Amanda Hess headlined "Having Built a Bubble, Sites Sell a Way Out"; the web version of the story is headlined "How to Escape Your Political Bubble for a Clearer View." Hess writes about the so-called filter bubble, which "describes the tendency of social networks like Facebook and Twitter to lock users into personalized feedback loops, each with its own news sources, cultural touchstones and political inclinations." But now "media and tech companies are pivoting, selling us a whole suite of offerings aimed at bursting the bubbles they helped to create" -- and she's got a rundown of what's available, from the Twitter plug-in FlipFeed and the Chrome extension PolitEcho to Facebook plug-in Escape Your Bubble and the BuzzFeed feature Outside Your Bubble.

5. Speaking of the filter bubble, just in case you're not a regular Breitbart News reader, here's a take from that site's John Hayward on what's going in D.C. lately: "DeepStateGate: Trump Ends the Wiretapping Innuendo Game by Dealing Himself In."

6. "About two-thirds of Americans say a special prosecutor should investigate contacts between Russians and Trump campaign associates, according to a new CNN/ORC poll," per a summary by CNN Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta, "and 55% say they are at least somewhat concerned by reports that some connected to the Trump campaign had contact with suspected Russian operatives."

7. And finally, ICYMI, Kate McKinnon is Attorney General Jeff Sessions is Forrest Gump in this past weekend's "Saturday Night Live" cold open:

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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