Response to The Filter Bubble

The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser talks about a growing issue for internet users around the world. Social media sites and search engines are a couple of the many types of websites that monitor your time spent surfing the web. They use information and data collected to market specific products to you based on your browsing history. Google started customizing its search results for every user. , Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on instead of giving you the most popular result. This is why you see very specific advertisements while using Google or playing on Facebook.  According to Pariser, this strategy works well for advertisers, but it is definitely hurting society. By limiting the types of advertisements people see, the internet is limiting everyone’s mindset. Pariser explained how this growing trend threatens to control how we use and share information as a society. Pariser worries that technology companies are already silently doing this for us. As a result, he writes, “personalization filters serve up a kind of invisible autopropaganda, indoctrinating us with our own ideas, amplifying our desire for things that are familiar and leaving us oblivious to the dangers lurking in the dark territory of the unknown.” Pariser wants companies to become more clear about their filtering practices and to put in more diversity into their search results and recommendations. He believes that Internet companies could, and should, be more than just information utilities assisting us with searches, communication and shopping. The Filter Bubble shows how personalization weakens the internet’s original purpose as an open platform for the spread of ideas and could leave us all in an isolated world.

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