This is a presentation from Eli Pariser on what he calls filter bubbles, the algorithms employed by the biggest online players — Google, FB, Yahoo — to tailor the information you’re exposed to to what they predict you’ll want to see.
As an example, he compares the Google results two of his friends got when they searched “Egypt.” They’re completely different, with one set focusing on the recent revolution and the other on more generic travel and trivia data.
The problem with this, says Pariser, is that whereas we like to think of the Internet providing unlimited access to information and connecting individuals around the world, filter bubbles are actually curating this information for you, based not on what’s most “important” but rather on your past patterns of online consumption and those of others “like you.”
And worst of all, they’re doing this without your knowledge.
This moves us very quickly toward a world in which the Internet is showing us what it thinks we want to see, but not necessarily what we need to see.
What do you think? Is “personalization” of the Internet compromising our view of the world?