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The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think Paperback – Apr 24 2012
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“Well-timed…a powerful indictment of the current system.” — THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“Eli Pariser is no enemy of the Internet. The 30-year-old online organizer is the former executive director and now board president of the online liberal political group MoveOn.org. But while Pariser understands the influence of the Internet, he also knows the power of online search engines and social networks to control exactly how we get information—for good and for ill.” — TIME Magazine
“[An] important new inquiry into the dangers of excessive personalization… entertaining… provocative.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
“Fascinating…a compelling deep-dive into the invisible algorithmic editing on the web, a world where we're being shown more of what algorithms think we want to see and less of what we should see.” — ATLANTIC.COM
“Pariser’s vision of the Internet’s near future is compelling.” — THE BOSTON GLOBE
— THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
About the Author
Eli Pariser is the Board President, and former Executive Director, of the 5-million member organization MoveOn.org. A pioneer in online politics, Pariser is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and a co-founder of Avaaz.org, one of the world’s largest citizen organizations. His op-eds have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. He grew up in Lincolnville, Me.
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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”.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
Anyone who Googles, gets news online, shops online, or uses Facebook simply must read this book.
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!
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