As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
“When confronted with a list of results from Google, the average user (including myself until I read this article) tends to assume that the list is exhaustive. Not knowing that it isn’t … is equivalent to not having a choice. Depending on the quality of the search results, it can be said that I am being fed junk — because I don’t know I have other choices that Google filtered out.”
– Aubrey Pek, commenting on Kim Zetter’s “Junk Food Algorithms”: