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The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,287 Ratings  ·  457 Reviews
An eye-opening account of how the hidden rise of personalization on the Internet is controlling-and limiting-the information we consume.
In December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. According to board president
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by Penguin Press (first published 2011)
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Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Well, if you want to be terrified about how the web is scooping information about us, stereotyping us, pigeonholing us, basically doing the opposite of what we thought the web was GOING to do for society, then read this book. At the very least, it helps become informed about exactly what we do when we surf the web. Nothing is safe online. Everything you do online is defining you in ways you never thought you'd be defined. Everything you do is hackable. The future is even worse in those respects. ...more
Dan Russell
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: internet users, Googlers
I read this book because it’s very well-known, because he gave a famous talk about this at a recent TED conference, and because I work and do research on how people think about the information they get from the internet. In the end, Pariser and I both think about these things a great deal—he worries deeply and writes a book that has essentially one complaint in it. His complaint? Internet companies provide personalization services that distort/affect/limit what you can see and it’s hard to know ...more
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The big message in this book is that "curators'" of information on the Internet, like Google and Facebook, use of personalization has significant negative consequences. If I search for something on Google, I am going to get results tailored to where I am and who Google "thinks" I am. Pariser argues that we are less and less confronted with ideas we don't agree with or new and surprising ideas.

The biggest issue is not even that the personalization is happening , but that it is completely opaque a
Atila Iamarino
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: internet
Comecei a ler por influência do @luisbrudna e não me arrependi. Achei que fosse ser um tanto repetitivo um livro inteiro sobre este tema, ou que fosse falar sobre o que já foi dito em outros livros do gênero como o Information. Nem próximo disso. Excelente argumentação, ótimos exemplos, fundamentação sólida em cognição. Tanto que mesmo sendo de 2011 não está desatualizado. E o mais legal, quando o Eli Pariser cita alguma teoria da cognição, explica rapidamente sem precisar redescrever tudo, cita ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
It's ironic how I became aware of this book and read it, given the topic of filtering and personalization. I found this book serendipitously. I was in the public library waiting for a workstation to open up. I was standing at the beginning of the non-fiction book section. This book has Dewey decimal number 004.678, right at eye-level where I happened to be standing, idly waiting. "Oh," I thought, "This looks interesting." I flipped though it and decided to check it out and read it. Just what the ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Filter Bubble presents a simple, but rather compelling argument: the focused efforts of companies like Google and Facebook to deliver highly personalised content on the web, initiates a self-referential feedback loop that exposes us to an ever-increasing one-dimensional view of the world. However, the most fascinating aspect of this book, is not the core argument, but rather the insightful commentary that follows from a detailed analysis of the consequences of this viewpoint. Just one small, ...more
Matt Maldre
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book. Here are the notes I wrote in the margins while reading it on the Kindle.

Page 15
Note: This is why I love going to libraries. The chance encounter of a new topic you never thought of exploring. (256)
Page 17
Note: I need to go to town hall meetings (279)
Page 20
Notes on this intro: I don't mind companies targeting me as I live my life much with a transparent attitude. However the author makes very good point that we eac
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Eli Pariser argues in The Filter Bubble that "rise of pervasive , embedded filtering is changing the way we experience the internet and ultimately the world." Now that companies can aggregate our web behaviors, likes, and purchases, online profiles of web users can be built that can be profitably sold to interested parties. This book therefore covers two issues: total personalization of delivered web data, and nature of these created web personas.

Regarding the first issue, I'm not as concerned
Angie Boyter
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: A month after writing my original review I changed my rating from 4 to 5 because of how it has stayed with me and the number of interesting conversations I have had about it.
In the introduction to The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser delivers a very thought-provoking message: the internet is getting better and better at knowing what we want and personalizing what we see, and that is not necessarily a good thing. We all want searches and websites to show us what we are after, but the more our com
Ignacio Izquierdo
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si tu y yo realizamos exactamente la misma búsqueda en Google obtendremos resultados distintos. En toda esta maraña de información que se ha convertido internet, encontrar exactamente lo que quieres puede resultar tremendamente complicado, asi que las webs se han propuesto conocerte mejor. A través de la información que vas dejando mientras navegas se puede hacer un perfil bastante preciso de quién eres y de cuales son intereses. Las miguitas de pan que vas dejando son clics en google, "me gusta ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Am crezut ca o sa intre mai mult in detaliile de sub capota Google si Facebook. Am sperat ca o sa descrie tehnicile de personalizare Google si Facebook, apoi o sa dea si cateva modalitati de corectare a acestei situatii.
Subiectul este extrem de interesant. Multi dintre noi locuiesc intr-o colivie informationala fara a fi constienti de asta. Dar cartea nu il prezinta suficient de bine, e mai degraba o serie de eseuri lipsite de continuitate.
Nu stiu in ce masura cunoasteti termenul de FILTER BUBBL
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
A better entry than The Googlization of Everything:, this one actually references that book, but it still can't escape the "being alarmist but not having any real catastrophic consequences to point to" trap. It's getting kind of easy to recognize the arguments. First there's this fact which is kind of unsettling, then that fact which is kind of unsettling, and then there's launching into a fear of something extreme resulting which doesn't really follow from the basic facts. And, one of my pet pe ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Admittedly, upon initial reading, began by sharpening the cutlery and prepared to launch into critical invective about this book. But it was not a terrible read at all, and the Mr. Pariser struck salience at a number of points.

I just reject the overt thesis that personalized filtering is the great 21st century media Satan. Yes, lack of serendipity is of some concern, but not the petrifying bogeyman that seems to warrant most of the book's main topic is way overblown, in an age where a discernin
Joseph McBee
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I read last year, someplace on the internet, that when a website offers a free service the product being sold is us.

This book explores the current internet culture where a few mega companies offer wonderful services, companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter, and use their services to gather massive amounts of data on its users i.e. you and I. The companies then use that data to determine what we like and don't like and then they show us only the things we like, excluding everything
Kate Woods Walker
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Although much-discussed in the past year and oft-quoted amongst the websites, blogs and message boards I frequent, The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser, for me, was a rather plodding look at internet "personalization" trends. I found myself putting the book aside and forgetting to take it up again, perhaps due to the immediacy of the internet itself, which made much of what Pariser presented already old news to his intended audience.

But it was a good, solid book about an important subject, so perha
Margaret Sankey
Dec 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Pariser dissects the dark side of the algorithms that allow search engines to guess what we want--the results aren't just tailored to what we want, but to what advertisers and perhaps more nefarious editors want us to see, not to mention the extremely easy habit of only reading what we agree with or what back-fills our own confirmation biases. While I am not sure that there is a technological or regulatory solution for even the privacy aspects of this, it speaks to a drum I am constantly poundin ...more
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Betsy by: Courtenay Chadwell-Gatz
A very important book for anyone who uses the internet. The big providers -- Facebook and Google especially -- filter the content they present to you, without telling you and without your permission. Even if you think you've elected to receive everything. They do it in the name of personalization, but it's largely to services advertisers, and it affects your online experience in insidious ways.

This book is short, well-written, and easy to understand. Although written by a well-known liberal act
Who doesn't like something individualized for them? Facebook, Google and Amazon, not to mention every other website are busy trying to tailor their customers' experiences and personalizing them. But if you search engine gives you different results than everyone else, how do we build a public community of shared facts.

Why I started this book: It was a short audio, and as a librarian, the topic of information access is always interesting to me.

Why I finished it: I didn't know about some of these a
Luis Brudna
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arq
Pelo título e por conhecer um pouco sobre o assunto achei que os argumentos seria fracos. Estava enganado. O livro foi uma grata surpresa.
Huda AbuKhoti
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read this.

Delete your web cookies and web history often.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Some great ideas and sentences, but this would have been better, I think, as a really thoughtful article in The Atlantic -- not a full book.

Kindle quotes:

A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa. —Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder - location 77

Starting that morning, Google would use fifty-seven signals—everything from where you were logging in from to what browser you were using to what you had searched for before—to mak
David Dinaburg
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
The appeal of The Filter Bubble isn’t in the oft-disheartening revelations about internet companies tracking data; that’s established and not surprising to most people. “When you read your Kindle, the data about which phrases you highlight, which pages you turn, and whether you read straight through or skip around are all fed back to Amazon’s servers and can be used to indicate what books you might like next.” What is revealing is how that targeted personalization is beginning to edge out what m ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
كتاب مُخيف. يتناول فكرة أننا على الإنترنت نعيش في فقاعات ، كل في فقاعته الخاصة، يترشح (يتفلتر؟) إلى داخلها محتويات غُربِلت لتتناسب مع أفكارنا ومُعتقداتنا فقط، حتى ليصبح الواحد يعتقد بأن رأيه هو الرأي السائد لأنه الرأي الوحيد الذي يُمكن أن يراه أينما ذهب على الإنترنت بشكل عام وعلى الشبكات الاجتماعية ومنصات الإنترنت بشكل خاص.

لما نبحث على محرك البحث جوجل على كلمة مُعيّنة فإن نتائج البحث قد تختلف بشكل كبير. فإن كنت مثلًا مهتمًا بالقضايا البيئية وبحثت عن اسم شركة بترولية مثلًا فمن الوارد جدًا بأنّك س
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Eli Pariser's The Filter Bubble is a pretty awesome book. It's quite similar to Siva Vaidhyanathan's The Googlization of Everything, published only two months earlier (which it nevertheless manages to cite), except that The Filter Bubble covers the Internet's big players in general -- Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter -- whereas The Googlization of Everything was limited to Google as a company. Pariser's metaphor of living in a "filter bubble" is similar to Vaidhyanathan's idea of humans being " ...more
Jacob Wighton
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
‘The Filter Bubble’ explores a simple idea: that personalisation of our online experience curates what we see, potentially hiding viewpoints that we don’t like and limiting our view of the world.

The idea is definitely worth discussing but I felt like Pariser’s writing didn’t always flow logically and occasionally jumped to conclusions that didn’t seem well founded.

Though it was written in 2010, it does make some highly prescient predictions, particularly about the huge effect that personalisatio
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Though written some 7 years ago (and thus a bit outdated) the book raises questions that are more valid than ever.
The filter bubble forms our thinking and transforms us into passive consumers, rather than active creators.
What would the future be like if each one lives surrounded only by things and people they like? What if all the data available about everyone of us is used to manipulate our every decision and lure us in to thinking we are steering our lives, whereas others are doing that for u
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
it's amazing the pariser was able to see the problems of personalization so clearly in 2011. it's also kind of amazing that even though people are, for the most part, somewhat familiar with the term 'filter bubble,' nothing has improved. it looks like it's even worse now. this book is a clearheaded examination of the state of the internet and our relationship with the tech giants who invisibly shape our online experience. it's also fun to read.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was undoubtedly written by a smart man. However, it's an 8-hour audiobook that should be one-hour long. What am I saying? One page. Everything in it could be stripped down and summarized in 350 words.
Bottom line? We live inside filter bubbles created by increasingly better customization, and that's a bad thing. I agree, Eli Pariser. You're right. You just should have written a Medium post instead of a book.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journalism
This book blew my mind. I wish it could be required reading. Pariser's writing is accessible and informative. Though the information is a bit dated at this point, the issues and progress of the filter bubble is still as relevant as ever. I'm looking forward to learning more about how the personalized web and access and use of personal data has progressed since this was published.
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
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Madison Mega-Mara...: The Filter Bubble, by Eli Pariser 1 2 Apr 15, 2013 09:43AM  
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  • The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption
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Chief executive of Upworthy, a website for "meaningful" viral content. He is a left-wing political and internet activist, the board president of and a co-founder of .
More about Eli Pariser

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“Personalization is based on a bargain. In exchange for the service of filtering, you hand large companies an enormous amount of data about your daily life--much of whic you might not trust your friends with.” 9 likes
“Your computer monitor is a kind a one-way mirror, reflecting your own interests while algorithmic observers watch what you click.” 5 likes
More quotes…