Uncovering The Dark Side Of The Internet: How Personalization And Filters Create An Individualized Web
When you log onto the internet, it can feel like a universe of information is open to you.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Companies such as Google, Facebook and YouTube create ‘filter bubbles’, where our access to information is limited based off of our personal data, search history and more.
These filter bubbles form a private world for us, where we are only exposed to content that is tailored to our beliefs and interests.
If you want to step out of your filter bubble and get a fuller understanding of the digital world, then The Filter Bubble Book is here to help.
It covers how these bubbles are created and how they affect us, while also looking at the amount of data collected by these companies and why we don’t see outside perspectives anymore.
Once you’ve read this book, you’ll have all you need to dive into the depths of your personal filter bubble – with an understanding of what’s inside it – so that you can truly expand your online experience!
How The Personalization Of The Internet Makes It Less Overwhelming
The sheer amount of data available on the internet can be overwhelming.
From 900,000 blog posts to 210 billion emails in a day, there is simply too much for anyone individual to process.
And yet this is just the tip of the iceberg–former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt notes that it would take 5 billion gigabytes of space just to store two days’ worth of communication in 2011!
In order to wade through this mass of information, people have embraced personalization as a way to sift through what’s out there.
Personalized filters offered by companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon enable users to narrow their search results according to their individual tastes and preferences; this makes scrolling easier and helps people find relevant information quicker.
Media analyst Steve Rubel even coined a phrase for when someone is faced with the unfiltered vastness of the internet: “the attention crash.” Without personalized filters like those provided by the big Internet companies, it would be near impossible for an individual user to sort through all that data in any meaningful manner–which is why personalization has become such a desirable feature.
The Dark Side Of Personalization: A Growing Battle For Individual Information
Internet companies like Google and Facebook are continuously striving to produce increasingly relevant search results to make their services more useful to customers.
To do this, they must collect as much personal data as possible in order to provide the best, most tailored results.
Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin believe that using smarter algorithms which rely on more than just keyword usage will create a better user experience.
As such, they track hundreds of pieces of data from every person who uses their services, such as age, location, and individual link-clicking behavior in order to generate accurate results for each user.
Google has already collected an average of 1,500 pieces of information for 96% of US households – and this number is ever increasing.
With Facebook adding your likes and friends’ names along with other details about you (what kind of restaurant you go to or who you date) it’s easy to see how our personal data is quickly being stored away by these two companies alone.
The Democratization Of News: From Censorship To The Filter Bubble
The internet has democratized the news, which was almost solely in the hands of mainstream newspapers before.
This is a good thing in many cases, like when the public quickly found out that Dan Rather’s documentary on George W.
Bush was false during his presidential campaign.
However, with so much news available it can be challenging to keep up with it all and often times people settle for what they know or prefer to read.
This is due to the personalization of news available through software code designed to determine what content users may want by filtering what they are exposed to based on how they use their devices and where they spend their time online.
In some cases these filters can restrict users from ever getting exposed to opposing views and this phenomenon has been coined “the filter bubble”.
The Filter Bubble: How Personalized Internet Environments Impact Our Confirmation Bias And Curiosity
The filter bubble has caused us to become increasingly overconfident in our beliefs and less inclined to seek out new information.
This is due, in part, to confirmation bias – our tendency to view the world through a lens that supports our own views.
The content we see on a daily basis is tailored specifically for us and everything we encounter serves to reinforce what we already believe.
In addition, the filter bubble has reduced the “information gap” between us and knowledge that we don’t possess.
The information gap is the barrier that helps fuel curiosity- when something is unseen or unknown it raises questions for us as we are eager to find out more about it.
By frequenting only curated internet spaces, this gap is effectively removed from play, reducing the potential for curiosity and learning something new.
Ultimately, without actively trying to escape from the confines of these personalized internet environments, our beliefs have become increasingly entrenched and hard to break away from – while also limiting our ability to grow intellectually by seeking out unfamiliar material.
You Hold The Power To Shape And Be Shaped By The Internet
It’s not just the internet that shapes who you are – you also shape the internet!
When you navigate the web, companies like Google and Facebook collect data on what you like to look at, then they use this data to present a more personalized experience.
But, don’t forget – as much as the internet is helping to shape your identity and interests, it’s also being shaped by YOU.
We see this idea playing out in the form of self-fulfilling prophecies.
If an algorithm shows you content that reinforces a specific aspect of your identity (like if it gives you science-related articles because it thinks that’s something you’re interested in), then there’s a good chance that you’ll continue to click on those types of articles and ads.
This reinforces Google’s initial theory about who you are, so ultimately it can end up shaping your perception of yourself!
The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser explores how algorithms are influencing our identities and sense of self.
Content is filtered based on limited information we provide – creating what he calls “the ‘you’ loop” – which serves to solidify the role these algorithms have in defining our identities and personalities.
So remember: when it comes to the internet, both parties have influence – us shaping it and vice versa!
The Rise Of Face Recognition Technology: Stepping Outside Your Filter Bubble
As technology continues to evolve, personalization is being employed more and more.
From face recognition, which could allow anyone with a computer to search the internet for your face just as easily as they can search for your name, to targeted ads in public spaces aiming specifically at you based on your gender and age, personalization is no longer a distant concept – it already here.
Personalization is finding its way into almost every industry and this means that companies are able to give customers an unprecedented level of precision when delivering products and services tailored specifically to their needs.
This not only creates a more efficient experience but also provides invaluable insights into customer behavior and preferences, enabling companies to make better decisions and adapt Quikly in unpredictable markets.
We may not always be aware of it, but the filter bubble is ever present – one only has to think back to the embarrassing tagged photos on Facebook – so while we might not be able to control it completely, we can take action where possible by making conscious decisions around our own privacy.
The Filter Bubble Book is all about how the internet influences our world views and opinions.
Despite what you may think, the internet is actually quite diverse, but due to personalization and filtration we often miss out on knowledge or information that could help us learn and grow.
Companies that want to make money will take advantage of these filters in order to show us content tailored simply towards our own tastes, trapping us in a bubble of our own beliefs.
In the end, it’s important to remember that the internet should be used as tool for learning and staying informed; not just a source of entertainment.