Internet Filters and Dead Squirrels

Thanks to one of my Facebook friends for sharing this nine minute video clip.

If, like me, you spend a serious amount of time online, then I’d encourage you to take a look (I’ve embedded the link below).

It’s a short speech given by a chap called Eli Pariser, at a TED (changing ideas) conference in the US in February.

For those reading that can’t spare the 9 minutes to watch, at the root of this, is that the Internet is being filtered and censored – not by Governments, but by the likes of Facebook and Google, and their filters. We’re increasingly living in a bubble, as new technology filters out the “stuff” that it thinks we’re not interested in.

Now, I like filters. I don’t want junk mail, and I don’t want irrelevant clutter thrown at me when I’m searching, but as online personalisation increases, am I in danger of being locked in a tiny bubble.

Thought provoking stuff, and a good explanation of the bubble effect.

I’d encourage you to watch this clip. It could change your attitude to online search…

Interestingly, when I was doing some more reading on the subject, I stumbled upon a piece on the Huffington Post commenting on this clip. Right in the middle of the piece, is a huge ad for “Protect My Bubble”, the gadget insurers. The advertising filter has detected “bubble” as a keyword, and is serving ads accordingly.

Filters – good or bad? I’m hoping I don’t come across as blinkered here, but I like my noise filtered if it gets my work done quicker. I would, however, welcome a filter “off switch”, so I can see outside by bubble from time to time. This might be a topic I cover in an upcoming podcast, so any opinions on this are welcomed.

More on this subject here: TED: Online Bubble

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