What Is Google Hiding From You?

Yesterday I posted that the last public school literacy program has been cut by lack of funding from USDOE. Information literacy is more important than ever, not only on its own merit, but it is even more critical that young people learn to evaluate and weigh information sources when we understand that Internet search engine algorithms are determining what we access. Your content is being filtered!

Eli Pariser is Executive Director of MoveOn.org, and author of a just released book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.

Amazon.com Review
Author Q&A with Eli Pariser

Q: What is a “Filter Bubble”?
A: We’re used to thinking of the Internet like an enormous library, with services like Google providing a universal map. But that’s no longer really the case. Sites from Google and Facebook to Yahoo News and the New York Times are now increasingly personalized – based on your web history, they filter information to show you the stuff they think you want to see. That can be very different from what everyone else sees – or from what we need to see.

Your filter bubble is this unique, personal universe of information created just for you by this array of personalizing filters. It’s invisible and it’s becoming more and more difficult to escape.

A good nine minute video summary can be found on TED at Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”.

Do you think you’re getting the best results from your Internet searches because you’re a librarian?


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3 responses to “What Is Google Hiding From You?

  1. Thanks, Steve, for bringing this issue to my attention. I watched the TED video, and you’re right on. Now, we need to do something about it. We need to influence Google and others to filter responsibly.

  2. If memory serves Nicholas Carr raises a similar point in “The Shallows” and Sherry Turkle in “Alone Together”. I am sure there are others who will validate Mr. Pariser’s comments and challenge. Ms. Turkle summarizes what I think the proper attitude is, as follows:”We don’t need to reject or disparage technology. We need to put it in its place.” Popping the filter bubble seems like a good starting point.

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