Sunday, April 15, 2012

Filter Bubbles:

The internet is bringing us closer together, right?  Breaking down walls, helping us live in harmony, helping us to understand people outside our environment and safety zones, etc., etc. Right?


It’s like The Offspring said: “You Gotta Keep ‘em Separated.”  I’m not going to go all conspiracy theory here, and suggest that “the powers that be” have a sinister motive for delivering filtered search results (outside of maximizing their advertising dollars), but the effect is the same.  Even though we may search the exact same terms as someone on the other side of the planet (or even just in a different income tax bracket or socio-political sphere), we live in separate worlds, and the algorithms and filters that deliver our search results and news feeds not only keep us separated but increase the rift.

Here is a fantastic TED Talk on the subject, delivered by Eli Pariser.

My buddy sent this to me back in May.  I decided to see what’s been happening, if anything, to fight this trend since Mr. Pariser gave his now (somewhat) famous presentation.

Turns out, not much. [frown] Google, Facebook, Bing, and just about everybody else are still working to feed you the information that is, well, you… and they are keeping you separated from those outside your bubble while doing it.  Boo, internet!  Boo!!!!

I did find this though… claims to provide you with search results sans filtering.  You simply get what you search for.  Here’s a nice little presentation page on why they do what they do (basically, an illustrated recap of the TED Talk on Filter Bubbles by Mr. Pariser).

1 comment:

Michael said...

I LOVE this talk. I don't remember when I first saw it on TED but ever since, I try almost daily to weaken my filter bubbles. The nature of the problem is such that its hard to impossible to know if my efforts are working but its I'm willing to keep trying. Thanks for posting!