Bursting (filter) bubbles

27 04 2013

I didn’t know about filter bubbles till last week.  I have clearly been existing in a happy bubble unaware of the potential implications of Google’s algorithms generating / tailoring a reality just for me.  I do like all the personalization that comes with Google now but hadn’t really thought about potential flip-sides.  Nothing like a TED talk to open your eyes:

http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html

Google will customize results based on a person’s search history, which can give you biased search results (called the “filter bubble”).

filter bubble

There is a good article on Google’s Mr Search, Amit Singhal in the Guardian (Adams, 2013):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jan/19/google-search-knowledge-graph-singhal-interview

This article also  highlights different options on search engines e.g. DuckDuckGo which searches the web without filtering results based on previous searches.

duckduckgo-google-bubble-1308659508

Another Google response to this can be found here

http://www.seroundtable.com/google-search-bubble-response-13591.html

But I’m off to Google the knowledge graph…

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3 responses

27 04 2013
Roger Harrison

Hi Jo, I didn’t know about these functions and debates so your post was really helpful. thanks

29 04 2013
30 04 2013
gotanda

Duck Duck Go is quite useful, but it’s rather telling to see how far my ranking drops if I DDG myself rather than Google myself. 😉

There was quite a nice story on DDG just the other day on On The Media
http://www.onthemedia.org/2013/apr/12/duck-duck-go-and-competition-search-market/transcript/

The bubble effect is very real and it can create misunderstanding. I though “everyone” knew what moocs were until I went to a recent edtech conference and found awareness ranged low to very low. With a few very, very bright spots mixed in. Had to revise my talk very quickly to meet the audience.

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