Online Filter Bubbles & Practical Ways of Popping Them
The primary media outlets in every country are dominated by collectivists who believe it is their duty to filter or alter the news so the common man will have a “correct” opinion.
The filter bubble is a name for an anxiety — the worry that our personalized interfaces to the Internet will end up telling us only what we want to hear, hiding everything unpleasant but important. It’s a fabulous topic of debate, because it’s both significant and marvelously ill-defined. But to get beyond arguing, we’re going to need to actually do something. I have five proposals. If you’re not familiar with the filter bubble argument, start with Eli Pariser’s TED talk . The basic idea is this: All of us now depend on algorithmic personalization and recommendation, such as Google’s personalized results and the Facebook gnus feed which decides for us whose updates we see .
Personalization algorithms already tell us what movies to watch, news stories to read and tunes to listen to. It was only a matter of time, then, that they’d tell us who to love. Matching algorithms aren’t new to online dating services. EHarmony, Chemistry and OKCupid have long served up compatible mates based on dozens, if not hundreds, of questions singles answer on their sites. But a new dating app, StreetSpark , is venturing out internet-wide to pick up clues on who you’re likely to become enamored with. Love seekers on the site can plug into their Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter accounts to discover potential lovers with similar tweets, profiles and cafe haunts.
So you want to pop your filter bubble — to see the neutral, un-filtered, un-personalized web. How do you go about it? Unfortunately, there are no magic bullets : The ad companies and personal data vendors that power and profit from personalization are far more technologically advanced than most of the tools for controlling your personal data.
Posted by Sean Harvey and Rajas Moonka, Product Managers Today we’re making available Keep My Opt-Outs , which enables you to opt out permanently from ad tracking cookies. It’s available as an extension for download in Chrome. Why have we developed this feature? Recently, the Federal Trade Commission and others have expressed interest in a “Do Not Track” mechanism that could offer users a simple way to opt out of personalized advertising. Advertising companies that are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) already let you opt out of tracking for the purposes of personalizing advertisements, and many online advertisers and trade associations have also joined a major self-regulatory effort to enforce a uniform privacy icon for ads, as well as opt-out guidelines.