The Filter Bubble and You

“The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.” ― Brooks Atkinson

 

It’s not about being proven right or proven wrong…OK maybe it is for most people, but what we all should be concerned with is the truth.  Web personalization is supposed to be good but it maybe too “helpful” for it’s own good.  Much like in the real world , there’s different perceptions and varying points of view of what we search for on the Internet.  I introduce to you the “Filter Bubble”, coined by Eli Pariser to insightfully illustrate how tracking/targeting/big data and web personalization can pose a legitimate danger to democracy and society as a whole.

 

The Filter Bubble and You
The Filter Bubble and You

With the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, it has brought about a flood of change of both good and bad, like with any technology.  The wielder of that technology or now more the gatekeeper/arbiter can ultimately decide how it can/should be utilized. It has changed how we we consume media and information, not mention other activities that have now been “virtualized” and are now easily accessible to anyone with a computing device(PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile and IoT devices) with access to the Internet.  Information and ideas are now easily generated and disseminated more quickly than any other time in history.  As a result there is and will continue to be copious amount data, information and media to consume.  This process of media consumption will continue to evolve and hasten and that is why it is important that those that create and most importantly curates it should be aware of their responsibility.  The sheer amount of information and content being generated makes it necessary to filter what we are searching for and where the good and possible dangers of the “Filter Bubble” phenomenon come into play. This(web-personalization) has now been and will continue to be the standard on the Internet and those that consume Internet information/content should be aware of that phenomenon.

 

This post is important because like any writer one should aim to be objective but we all succumb to some bias.  That bias is a result of signals that one obtains(from varying sources) and that information is then analyzed.  The schism with other people is a result of those unwilling to take in other opposing points of view(when hard facts aren’t present).  This is not say that facts are fungible just because a source has declared something as fact doesn’t deem it so.  With cursory research primarily taken from the Internet and as a result of the 24/7 news cycle coupled with the fact that the World Wide Web continues to be quickest form of obtaining/disseminating data and information; it is important to this site curator be aware of any possible bias influenced both mainstream and not so mainstream media.  My personal beliefs shouldn’t hold to much sway in how obtain credible primary source materials(again likely the Internet).  I hope this site  remains as objective by being aware that knowledge can be biased to some degree depending on the source and those that are visitors of this site should also be aware that credibility is earned.  I hope that this site earns that credibility.

 

Please reference the TED presentation by Eli Pariser and the Filter Bubble phenomenon.  He succinctly presents it better:

 

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