Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Filter Bubbles

     The Internet has a plethora of information that can be available at the touch of a button or click of a mouse.  Students turn to the Internet for information on topics for research papers, many people use the Internet for new ideas in the areas of cooking, fashion, and entertainment, and almost everyone has a social media account; such as Facebook.  I have always viewed the Internet and search engines such as Google, as non-biased, objective methods of finding information.  However, the Internet is tailored to each person through the use of filter bubbles.  
     Filter bubbles are undetectable if a person is unaware of their purpose.  Websites such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! keep track of what you search, what websites you visit, and even what your personal preferences are throughout your accounts.  For example, on my Facebook profile, I have listed that I am a Public Relations major.  After logging onto my account, an advertisement was specifically placed onto my profile for "enhancing your PR career by obtaining a Master's degree from USC."
     Google is one of the most popular search engines on the Internet, but Google uses information from previous searches to personalize current searches.  Google chooses the "best search results" by looking at the IP address and what the user has searched in the past.  I believe that this limits the information we can receive and contributes to the bias and misunderstanding of information.  If every search a person does is catered to them, then how can they ever learn anything different?

    A new search engine site called DuckDuckGo states that it offers searches without filter bubbles ensuring a less biased and subjective view of information.  Hopefully more websites will allow the option to reduce the use of filter bubbles.  Some personalization on the Internet is well received, but I feel that in order to take full advantage of the services of the Internet, websites should show people everything, not just what they want to see.


1 comment:

  1. Nicely done! The video was a great choice and I'm impressed that you included the DuckDuckGo search engine! There are some minor punctuation things, but not enough to warrant any point deductions. Again, thanks for a wonderful post!