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View Full Version : What's your opinion on the internet's 'Filter Bubble'



MKR&*42
23-10-2011, 09:58 PM
First of all, the 'Filter Bubble' is basically a way of describing the method of how information is displayed to you on the internet and how websites selectively guess what information you want to see by looking at your location, past behaviour, search history etc.

So, for example. Google use 57 'signals' to determine what information is displayed to you on their website - you really have no control over what you see and what you don't see, it's all pre-decided by Google. Here's a small 'statement':

http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/wazzervaldez/Evidence6.png

Google of course would reject 'filter', because it's negative on their company. So, you have no genuine control over what is displayed to you when you search something on Google - here's an example. 2 friends search the same thing 'Egypt' (they both live in America but in diff. states) and here's the results that get shown;

http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/wazzervaldez/Evidence4.png

I know it's hard to see, but you can tell they got different search results. Due to Google customizing both results differently and unique for the user.

Your information, also isn't safe - as you can see below in a headline;

http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/wazzervaldez/Evidence7.png

SO, it is kinda worrying, you never know who could end up with your information. I also remember a case, where some Chinese person who was speaking out against the government (because... the Chinese government is corrupt basically) and the Chinese government wanted to find out 'where he was' - so they asked Yahoo to give them his personal info. and they did - he's currently in jail.

Adverts are also 'tailor-made' for you - someone mentioned on a different thread how it was ironic that there was a 'hair transplant' advert at the top of a page... with a thread on 'Hair problems' or something.

See;

http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/wazzervaldez/Evidence3.png

and 2 other examples;

http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/wazzervaldez/Evidence2.jpg

http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/wazzervaldez/Evidence1.png

Facebook are also well-known for doing this, if you've ever gone to let's say.. YouTube. Watched a video by Eminem then go to acebook and 'Suggested Pages > Eminem' is there... It's not ironic, it's you being tracked xL. I read Facebook's privacy policy (took me a while to find it) and here's what they say;

http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/wazzervaldez/Evidence5.png

I also remember reading that Facebook keep track of the websites you visit over a 9-month timescale... Unsure if they still do that though.

Someone also did a talk on this, and you can see the talk here:

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

S (http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html)o yeah, I was wondering what you all think. Do you think it's right that we don't have a chance to say what we want to see on the internet and don't want to see? Do you think that Google should be allowed to track '57 signals' of us... etc.

After all, it's no longer 'the internet', it's becoming 'your internet'.

Thread moved by Infectious (Forum Super Moderator): From "Technology Discussion", as it is probably better suited here!

Demi
23-10-2011, 10:24 PM
I think it's a yes/no situation.
I don't mind some of my data being out there, but for them to give out my information... DAMNN!!!
Yahoo! isn't as good as Google with storing data securely and not giving it out, so that's why I only use Google.

-:Undertaker:-
23-10-2011, 10:31 PM
I have no problem as long as its optional to use that service, which it normally isn't whenever the state becomes involved in spying/tracking.

JoeyK.
25-10-2011, 08:21 PM
I don't think it should be a problem as long as you have nothing to hide. If anything, it makes things much easier. For example, I play Runescape quite often - When I search for a more general term like 'Green Dragon', my first result is the RSWiki page for Green Dragons, as opposed to a more general result that would be displayed if they did not collect personal information. If anything, I would be much more worried about our smartphones knowing where we are 24/7 ;)

Accipiter
25-10-2011, 10:09 PM
It's just advertising?

Use google properly and you can find anything you want, this "filter bubble" probably applies to the US only / Obviously China, I hardly doubt it applies to the UK as there have been plenty of instances where i've told people to google something who live down the country, too which I tell them how many links down it is and it's the same one.

No one cares about advertising, FB reads your Personal messages to construct its advertising.

beth
26-10-2011, 04:21 AM
i watched a newsnight (yeah am getting old) episode that featured a young guy who had written a scaremongering book (quite like yr thread) on this subject and it pretty much got ripped to tatters by the questions. it's not as bad as people make out. the bbc did tests across a few differing families telling them to search exactly the same terms and they all got pretty much the same top six results. the way you put it makes it sound like google will FORCE their results on you, when they don't. also, everybody knows about the gathering of yr data while using the internet. it makes sense that while using another companys services (and usually for free facebook/msn/google search) they will gather something about you, if you don't like that fact you should pretty much get off the internet.
i don't really care what they do with my info as long as they're not selling me off as a slave somewhere.

MKR&*42
26-10-2011, 11:22 AM
i watched a newsnight (yeah am getting old) episode that featured a young guy who had written a scaremongering book (quite like yr thread) on this subject and it pretty much got ripped to tatters by the questions. it's not as bad as people make out. the bbc did tests across a few differing families telling them to search exactly the same terms and they all got pretty much the same top six results. the way you put it makes it sound like google will FORCE their results on you, when they don't. also, everybody knows about the gathering of yr data while using the internet. it makes sense that while using another companys services (and usually for free facebook/msn/google search) they will gather something about you, if you don't like that fact you should pretty much get off the internet.
i don't really care what they do with my info as long as they're not selling me off as a slave somewhere.

Pfft, Nothing wrong with Newsnight xL.

And the book that you're thinking of is called "The Filter Bubble - What the internet is hiding from you" by Eli Praser. I came across it, when I was taking print screens of all that stuff up there ^

Hmm... I wanna read it now ^_^

.Tom.
26-10-2011, 10:49 PM
I think the advertising is pretty clever to be fair, it's a useful tool that may help people find something they want, and it will help business's to keep afloat :)

As for selling off/giving away information about a particular individual, I think it's a pretty poor situation where information about everything you look at/are involved in can be requested and provided... What happened to the right to privacy?

Recursion
09-11-2011, 08:41 AM
Bit of a late reply but hey, guess what, when using Google you agree to their Terms of Service, don't like 'em? Stop using Google.

It also reads all your e-mails too if you use GMail to construct relevent adverts. Google rely on advertising as their income, yes they probably know far too much about us with Gmail, G+, Search, Shopping, Checkout, Wallet, Images etc etc but in the end, it's your fault if you agreed to use the service.

GommeInc
12-11-2011, 10:51 AM
I don't see how this is a problem. Advertising is continuously changing - does anyone actually notice Google Ads these days? One problem facing advertisers and marketing experts is that when people are confronted with a particularly type of advertisement e.g. Google Banner Ads, they will eventually begin to ignore it and pay no attention to it. If it reads the internet pages for information then that is just clever, nothing else :P If it bothers you, simply use AdBlock on Firefox or Chrome.

As for more private things, like e-mail advertisements - it's not hacking straight into your account to retrieve information to re-construct as advertisements, which many fear-mongers appear to be suggesting around the web. Nothing is more annoying than stupid people assuming clever tools that glance at information in your e-mail account must be accessing private, strictly confidential information that can identify, when the tool is only looking at what is skin deep in e-mails and nothing else. As Recursion so rightly pointed out - Google rely on advertising as their income, which I believe is their main source of income if Google's 2011 Financial Table is anything to go by - so advertisements are going to always exist for Google and considering it's not annoying it's fine. If it annoys you, just use Bing or AdBlock.

An interesting discussion anyway. Might lay to rest some myths about advertisements.

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