Think Outside the Bubble


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Topic of the week #10

After watching the TED video with speaker Eli Pariser, I was surprised and in some aspects, shocked. The information I was digesting was eye opening and shed light to something I was completely unaware of. It was the first time I faced the reality of “filter bubbles.” 

By “filter bubbles,” Eli Pariser was referring to how different organizations, like Facebook and Google, monitor the links and websites people visit and then edit what they are able to see based on the links and websites they find they are frequently choosing to visit.

Proof: Eli Pariser prooved this by showing how two different people can type in the exact same thing into Google search, at the same time, and get two completely different lists of information and links to choose from.

Also, he showed how his Facebook newsfeed was being filtered. He explained that he was a liberal and would often click on links that contained liberal infromation or opinions. Facebook monitored his actions and in return edited his newsfeed to the point where his conservitive friends’ links would not appear in his newsfeed anymore. Eli had been placed into a filter bubble. He was just one of the many billions of people who this was happening to.

Problem: The danger with “filter bubbles” is that it gives you only a portion of the picture. It doesn’t give you well-rounded information but it merley gives you what you want to hear. People don’t need to only see and read information that they agree with, they need information that they oppose. They need to be faced with new ideas and ways of thinking that aren’t normal to them. In essence, orgaizations like Google and Facebook are taking away individuals freedom to search the web and find information themselves. They are shaping the way humans think.

To hear more, watch the entire video of Eli Pariser as he talks about the dangers of “Filter Bubbles.”


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