Beware Your Information Bubble

Eli Pariser talks about filter bubbles in this terrific TED Talk. As human beings were prone to bubbles, we gravitate to people like us, people with the same views, the same socio-economic class, the same habits etc. All sorts of studies show that if you’re likely to have similar habits and life-styles as the people you associate with. The web has been applauded as a way to escape that echo-chamber you live in. Except, as Pariser points out, there are companies like Google and Facebook and Yahoo looking to personalize your web experience, and that personalization makes your bubble even smaller. Making it even easier to forget that your world view is not the world view.

So I do think this is a problem. And I think, if you take all of these filters together, you take all these algorithms, you get what I call a filter bubble. And your filter bubble is your own personal unique universe of information that you live in online. And what’s in your filter bubble depends on who you are, and it depends on what you do. But the thing is that you don’t decide what gets in. And more importantly, you don’t actually see what gets edited out.

This is huge. Not just to library professionals, but to everyone. Watch the video. Read the links I posted at the bottom.

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6 comments for “Beware Your Information Bubble

  1. Dale Prince
    May 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Dang! I read an article about a report in the past couple weeks that showed that the Bubble or echo chamber had positive effects as well and was more permeable than those terms (bubble and echo chamber) suggest. I can’t find it, though. Wah!

  2. June 2, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Great talk indeed. We are actually in a World Wide Web which is not so about “World”, right? What’s the point in a World Wide Web which is not about the “World”? This should be the question.

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