Jodi's Reviews > The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You

The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser
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's review
Jun 17, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads, non-fiction
Recommended for: anyone who uses the internet
Read from June 13 to 16, 2011

What if everything you read on the internet was tailored to provide exactly what your interests are? That is the central thesis of this thought provoking and excellent book .
Facebook gets all the bad press, but all the major internet players, such as Google, Amazon, etc. sell our personal data to private companies who in turn sell to advertisers. We are moving inexorably to complete personalization of our internet experience, which may sound appealing until you realize the ensuing disinformation that will result. Imagine only reading about what you already like and prefer (or what some computer program assumes your interests are). How do you know what is the truth vs. what someone wants you to know? With old fashioned newspapers and even the current Yahoo news site, just glancing at stories and graphics that you were not truly interested in still resulted in some information- headlines can be telling. But in the very near future, you may not see these things at all. Facebook censors news feeds to appeal to what we seem to mostly prefer. The author recalls his experience of wanting to see the opinions of several friended conservatives, but their content is not included in the news feed since this is in the minority of what he reads. Google is constantly refining their algorithms with the goal being to provide news that reflects our preferences. This will further erode an already poorly informed citizenry . Right now, different people googling the same phrase get different search results.
Our media is controlled by an ever decreasing number of large corporations who have their own political and economic agendas. The author is optimistic that if enough of us band together, things can change. I think it will be a very tough fight, as these massive corporations, just like the major players in finance, health care, etc. have enormous influence in the government, media, and marketplace.
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