The Filter Bubble

The Filter Bubble

What the Internet Is Hiding From You

eBook - 2011
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The hidden rise of personalization on the Internet is controlling--and limiting--the information we consume. In 2009, Google began customizing its search results. 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 Eli Pariser, this change is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years--the rise of personalization. Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected until now, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Data companies track your personal information to sell to advertisers, from your political leanings to the hiking boots you just browsed on Zappos. In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs--and because these filters are invisible, we won't know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2011
ISBN: 9781101505724
Branch Call Number: 004.678 Pa
Description: 1 online resource (294 pages)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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RyanR_KCMO Jan 06, 2020

Though this book was written in 2011, it could have easily been written today to describe how we arrived in such a polarized digital landscape. If you have watched Pariser’s TED Talks about the subject, you will find some similar material. The best parts of the book, however, are the deep-dives into the various fields of psychology, philosophy, journalism, marketing, and data science that bring to life the core concepts building us individual echo-chambers as we exist online.

Aug 24, 2019

Thought-provoking. Technology has definitely changed our lives, but how? Are these changes good or bad? In essence, technology is neither good or bad, nor is it neutral. Our choices influence the creation of new technologies, and those new technologies influence our choices in return. We have to know how it works and think about how it's impacting our lives in more thoughtful ways than we have done up to now. We have to ask questions: For whom do these technologies work? What are the public outcomes of these systems?

Jan 23, 2019

Though several years old now, Pariser's study of technology's emphasis on filtering technology that serves us targeted content seems prescient, and remains frighteningly current in 2019. All platforms have only gotten deeper into the race to collect as much personal data as they can on us as their users, and our news feed and our search results are shaped by algorithmic forces - beyond our control, and beyond our sight, and sometimes even now beyond the control of those how code them. The push for "relevancy" lies underneath nearly every page and tool we use today, and it steers what we see, as well as our very thought processes, leading to the possibility that our past clicks can start to determine our future.
Inside the filter bubble, the medium of the internet and its powers (commercial or governmental interests, or the technology itself) control what we see, and own our attention, and this should worry us.

Dec 22, 2015

Google and Facebook have created algorithms that edit out all results that you might not like. This is terrible for creativity: creative ideas come from the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, which you will never find within their filters. The filters are making us more alone as well: we only hear the side of the story that agrees with us.
This was a fascinating book, and it makes me wonder how the filter bubble has changed in the five years since this book was published. Despite it's typos and a terrible author photo (which you can see for yourself at, I think this book is extremely well researched and I would recommend it to anyone who spends time on the internet.

Dec 06, 2013

Author Eli Pariser shows what the future marketing may look like from what it's already doing today: customizing our internet searches. It looks simple but it isn't. You'll see how two same google searches may yield quite different results and frm there companies are expending their net over us to make it harder and harder to resist buying. These changes also have many advantages, such as faster learning than ever though possible.

Nov 07, 2011

every click is auctioned off in microseconds...
if you are not buying, you are being sold....
interesting reading for a nontechy. i find that i have been a bit more careful online about logging off since reading this book.

Nov 05, 2011

A very good book that should open peoples eyes to the technology they're increasingly taking for granted and the troubling implications of that process. Highly rated.

debwalker Jun 12, 2011

“Just Google it!” has become a common cyber-snobbish response to questions that seem too trivial to merit a human conversation. But is it really an answer? Now that more and more Internet sites are tailoring their services to the idiosyncrasies of individual users, queries for “climate change,” “stem cells” and even “pizza” may yield different outcomes for different people. This may be an era when we are increasingly entitled to our own facts — but should we also be entitled to our own search results?"
Evgeny Morozov
NYT June 10 2011


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