The Google Bubble

Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, explains how websites from Facebook to Google change our search results to tell us want they think we already want to hear:

“Don’t Bubble Us” is another link concisely summing up these themes. Duck Duck Go is a search engine which does not bubble people’s searches. Personally, I think that the efficiency of bubbles that prevents me (now that I realize it) from having to wade through religious sites I wouldn’t be interested in when I type in “atheism” is a good idea as an option one can select for specific searches. But it should be opt-in, not the opt-out default.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • F

    It’s the sort of thing that may make searching slightly easier in the short term under very limited conditions. Overall, it’s awful, and just reinforced your small world (for those who use search for news, opinion, etc.).

    And the filters really are teh suck for anything else. For example, if I’m looking for a fact, I don’t want ten thousand results of forum posts of people asking about the fact. I just want the fact.

    So, Google et al should kindly refrain from their poorly executed features until they get the semantic web down, or something.

    In a side note, are people still just finding out about this?

    • Camels With Hammers

      When I first heard about it, I was on a semi-hiatus from blogging. Stumbled on this stuff again tonight and thought it worth highlighting finally.

  • cnjnrs

    I’ve been using DuckDuckGo for a while now, partly because of this. Another problem with Google specifically is that I have too many eggs in that basket: email, calendar, documents, android, RSS so I can read about those construction-happy Camels ;)… If someone at Google starts selling off data, at least now I won’t have much search history there.

    • Camels With Hammers

      RSS so I can read about those construction-happy Camels

      Well, Google is clearly not all bad by any stretch. :) (Neither, by the way is Facebook to which I owe more traffic than I could ever repay.)