When we choose which web sites, blogs, and newspapers to read and which television stations to watch, we are knowingly filtering the information we receive. But what we may not realize is the the explosion of personalization on the internet is doing the same thing. But how personalized are things really? More than you may think. Recent peer reviewed research shows that Google will return search results that vary from user to user by up to 64% (First Monday.) Or consider the difference between stories that appear in the “Most Recent” view of Facebook’s news feed as opposed to what it determines is “Top News” for you?
In a recent interview with New Scientist magazine, Eli Pariser – board president of MoveOn.org, says that Facebook and Google now act in the same fashion as editors… highly personalized editors that reinforce what we already believe and limit our exposure to new ideas. His new book The Filter Bubble addresses the concerns around these issues and offers tips for busting your own filter bubble.