The ‘Filter Bubble’

There is a most brilliant (and relatively short) TED Talk – a must see for anyone who uses a search engine.

Slowly but surely, most search engines and social networks are tracking each of our histories and editing out things they think we would not like.  This means that searching for identical keywords can produce vastly different search result for different people – which is fine, IF we could ‘opt out’ (at least some of the time)…but most of us don’t even know this is happening!

This, in my never-humble-opinion, is a problem.  And it is the topic of the above mentioned TED Talk by Eli Pariser – he refers to it as ‘the filter bubble’.

He raises a lot of good questions.

One possible answer to at least one of these questions is a search engine that markets itself with proud claims that it will not bubble or track you! If you have not heard of them, take a peek at DuckDuckGo.

While on the topic of technology, Michael Geist has been doing some important work reporting on the Digital lock dissent.  He has also posted a most excellent ‘link-library’ to help people support their arguments when they try to dispell the myths the digital lockers are promulgating.

H/T:  Tyr

3 Responses to “The ‘Filter Bubble’”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:


    In the movie, “The Matrix”, people were enslaved by means of virtual reality. They lived in a virtual world, and everything they did was unknowingly done for the benefit of those who created that world.

    The filter bubble is the real-life Matrix.

    It allows “the system” to construct a detailed psychological profile of you, and feed you all and only that information which will cause you to decide, voluntarily, to do exactly what the owners of “the system” want you to do. At least in regard to any issue they care about.

    In most cases, this is much more effective than jack-booted thugs.

    No man is more hopelessly enslaved, than he who falsely believes that he is free.
    — Goethe

    Xanthippa says:


    It’s that whole being bound up in a nutshell yet considering one-self to be the king of infinite space….gives one bad dreams!

    It is the ‘gatekeepers’ who had power when mass communication was only one-way: the newspapers, then radios and TVs. Now, the gatekeepers have adapted to new technology and the ‘filter-bubble’ is the result.

  2. ThunderF00t: ‘The Stagnation of YouTube’ « Xanthippa's Chamberpot Says:

    […] he is describing is yet another application of the ‘Filter Bubble’: Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in society, technology. Tags: society, […]

  3. CodeSlinger Says:



    And to make matters worse, they are preparing to make it illegal (!) to circumvent the filter bubble – with the appropriately named E-Parasites Act.

    “More chilling, the legislation provides that the Attorney General can take action against anyone offering a product or service designed or marketed to get around this new blacklist. Popular services like Tor would be immediately threatened by passage of this bill.”

    You can’t make this stuff up…

    Meanwhile, on the official White House crowdsourced petition site, the American people are petitioning the President to kill this travesty of a law about to be enacted by the self-styled protector of the free world.

    Xanthippa says:
    I don’t know how to express the profound depth of danger this represents to freedom of information…

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