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The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Eli Pariser , Kirby Heyborne
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 12 2011
In December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. According to MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser, Google's change in policy is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years—the rise of personalization. In this groundbreaking investigation of the new hidden Web, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we consume and share information as a society—and reveals what we can do about it.

Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected until now, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Facebook—the primary news source for an increasing number of Americans—prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even an old-media bastion like The Washington Post devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing. Behind the scenes, a burgeoning industry of data companies is tracking your personal information to sell to advertisers, from your political leanings to the color you painted your living room to the hiking boots you just browsed on Zappos.

In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs—and because these filters are invisible, we won't know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas.

While we all worry that the Internet is eroding privacy or shrinking our attention spans, Pariser uncovers a more pernicious and far-reaching trend and shows how we can—and must—change course. With vivid detail and remarkable scope, The Filter Bubble reveals how personalization undermines the Internet's original purpose as an open platform for the spread of ideas and could leave us all in an isolated, echoing world.

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"A powerful indictment of the current system." ---The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Eli Pariser is the board president and former executive director of MoveOn.org, one of the largest citizens' organizations in American politics.

Kirby Heyborne, an accomplished actor, musician, and comedian, has received a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards and has narrated such titles as Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, and The Genius by Jesse Kellerman.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Internet Through the Filter Bubble Feb. 8 2014
Format:Paperback
While exploring the internet, we as consumers never think about how it actually works. Internet itself is a very interesting and in some ways, provoking thing. In the book by Eli Paricer, the writer suggests the idea of how the internet is filtered. Internet has the sort of a bubble which controls what information we receive. Pariser argues that the internet has established a bubble which filters the information we receive. So what does this suggest? It tells us, that we – the consumers, cannot get access to everything that we want, the internet pre-determines what information we would like to obtain, and therefore provides us with that information. Therefore, the argument that Eli Pariser introduces is the idea of a “filter bubble” which exists in the internet.
First of all, to help us understand how Eli Pariser arrived to certain conclusions about the internet, we need to learn about his background. Pariser has plenty of knowledge in political studies. This led him to become more familiar with organizations that support his political views. At one point he was a member and a creator of a few popular websites which were related to his political views. His interests in politics as well as the development of internet have pushed him to study the idea of “research personalization”. Pariser was concerned that people with different views (especially political ones) can only get one side of the story through the internet. Eli Pariser was deeply involved in this research, which pushed him to write the book “The Filter Bubble”. So as we can see, Eli Pariser has much knowledge in the field of internet and its personification.
Pariser has a critical view on the internet which he also presents in “The Filter Bubble”.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  68 reviews
170 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God the Internet isn't hiding The Filter Bubble from me! May 12 2011
By Benjamin Wikler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Filter Bubble is an outstanding book--a compelling and important argument, delivered persuasively through real reporting, analysis, telling anecdote and hard data.

One of Eli Pariser's central points is that personalized internet services--Google, Facebook, advertising--can put you into a "you loop", in which they show you what you think you want, and then you wind up wanting those things more because you see them more often. Invisibly, your momentary impulses (click on this, ignore that) shape your reality, and your reality shapes what you respond to.

Since reading the book, I've found myself compulsively testing one of its main case studies: Google's automatically personalized search results. Try searching for "guns": I don't see the NRA on the first page, but friends do. Huge differences on "abortion" too: some people see Planned Parenthood, other people see Catholic.com. Even searching for "bias" shows different results to me vs my wife!

Drawing on history, academic research, exclusive interviews, and a huge range of other sources, the author takes a hard look at the algorithms that increasingly shape how all of us think. He contends that unchecked profit-centric personalization threatens democracy. When you read the book, you'll come away convinced. And you'll appreciate how the book itself makes our democracy stronger.
67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss The Filter Bubble! May 14 2011
By cpk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Filter Bubble does one of the most important things a book CAN do -- it sounds a warning about a major problem that has, til now, been mostly invisible. But Pariser doesn't just tell us how giants like Google and Facebook are limiting the information we see. He also explains, in clear, energetic prose, how the personalization of the Internet is affecting our relationships, our identities, our creativity and our democracy. As an added bonus, the book is a highly engaging and entertaining read -- packed with insights and anecdotes from fields as diverse as urban planning, advertising, literature, sociology, and computer science. At a time when exposure to surprising and challenging information is getting harder and harder to come by, this book will definitely broaden your perspective.
57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must read for anyone who uses the Internet, left or right. May 12 2011
By East Coast Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This riveting book picks up where Pariser's explosive TED talk left off. In a voice that is as fun to read as it is smart, The Filter Bubble arms readers with a thorough understanding of the powers at play on the Internet today -- how they invisibly affect your experience, the implications of these effects for the individual as well as for society, and what each of us can do about it.

Anyone who Googles, gets news online, shops online, or uses Facebook simply must read this book.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anybody who cares about the Internet. May 12 2011
By Matt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Filter Bubble is a book everybody who cares about the Internet needs to read!

We're entering a new period of growth in the basic functioning of the Internet. The web we once knew is changing - it's becoming personalized. This isn't always a bad thing - the Internet is massive and we need ways to make it relevant. But what's alarming is that these new personalization filters are changing things without us knowing and they're focused on making money.

Websites need clicks and they're going to show us whatever articles, search results, ads, or data they can to get those clicks. This is a dangerous proposition. There are certain things we NEED to see, but might never click on. Like news from the ongoing wars in the Middle East. Also concerning is that the increase in personalization means we'll keep seeing things that re-affirm or personal beliefs. If you think partisan bickering is bad now, just wait.

It's not all doom and gloom, far from it. What's most exciting is how early the book comes in the development of 'the new personalized web'. It's not a historical account, it's actively part of the ongoing discussions happening at Google, Facebook, and the New York Times (among many others). Eli has managed to place himself just in front of the tech wave - no small feat - while providing a detailed analysis of what's currently taking place. He also offers clear ways to resolve the situation, ways that work with the existing system and help protect the open Internet we all love.

Very well worth the read - and then some!
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific May 12 2011
By mainelymom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is so much like Eli Pariser himself that reading it is like a series of electrifying conversations with him. It is provocative, eye-opening, thoughtful, alarming, full of terrific stories and thoroughly entertaining. Whether or not the Internet is your focus, your won't forget your evenings with Eli.
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