Eli Pariser "The Filter Bubble" 23rd Jun 2011

Ironic– this guy is famous only because Google turned his website into THE page which organized community in response to 9/11, yet he things google just doesn’t get what is important.

His take:
We see the internet/world via facebook and google. These use personal filters when deciding what to present to us.

Problems: We don’t know what is being filtered out.

Facebook has a like button, which is popular and has a strong filter weight. But while you can “like” a photo of a kitten, it is hard to “like” a story of famine, even though you wish to spread awareness of the event.

Primary design criteria for the filter is to keep you clicking, and keep you using the site. Designed to be addictive, not nutritious. Facebook and google are not free, they are sponsored.
People feel good (small dopermegenic burst) when they are told something they already know, or agree with. Everyone likes to be right. The filters use this.

Two people can get vastly different pictures of the world. Example: two searches on “Egypt”. One gets news articles about the Arab Spring, the other gets tourist information about the pyramids.

My take:
He is right about everything, but his thoughts are not mature.

You might not “Like” a famine, but you can “like” a call to action to solve the problem.

He discovered the problem when he tried to find facebook friends who he knew saw the world differently than he did, and found them filtered out. Well, he could have just emailed/messaged them, couldn’t he? How bad did he want to know what they were thinking?

Use curated websites when you want an overview. Google “popular conservative blogs”.

Of course the tools are not universally applicable. Of course the tool alters the way you think about the issue. But it is just a tool, not the one ring.


Posted on July 28, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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