Beware of the Filter Bubble

Eli Pariser, author of “The Filter Bubble” delivers a compelling TEDTalk on the dangerous unintended consequences of web companies tailoring news and search results to our personal tastes. He argues that this personalization is the internet showing us what it “thinks” we should see, as opposed to what we should or need to see.

Arguably, we already live with a filter bubble with the media we choose to ingest and to ignore. Consider the viewers of FOX News versus the Daily Show and the rare folks that cross over or seek out a broader array of opinions. Most folks take in media that reaffirms their existing views, rather than challenging their perspectives. We do this in our personal lives, with the friends we choose and in our business lives, with the narrow view we take on our own data. We encourage all of our readers to consider making uncomfortable decisions – seek out opinions that oppose yours, get into lively debates with your friends and put your data in the context of the broader world. You can read more about the idea of data in context in Flip Kromer’s posts on Big Data Predictions for 2012 and On Being Wrong in Paris.

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