Friday, May 6, 2011

4 Video: What The Internet Is Hiding From You

I just watched this video with Eli Pariser, where he talks about what the internet doesn't let you see because it is tailored with you in mind.

This is almost ten minutes of video you don't want to miss, because it talks about how completely different results are shown for two people who are looking up the same keyword.

This means that one person who is interested in Lyme disease and conspiracy theories will get more results that include those two concepts - whereas a person who is interested in Lyme disease and scientific research will get more results that include those two concepts when they type the keywords, "Lyme disease" into their browsers.

It's important to be aware that what you don't see can be as important as - if not more important than - what you are actually seeing online. Anything that makes you uncomfortable, challenges your point of view, or is different may be hidden from you by design.

Watch this video. I think everyone should see it, the message is important whether you are looking up information on Lyme disease, US politics, health care plans, and anything you can think of entering into that little search box at the top of your browser...



How do you fix this?

Google needs to set it up so we have the option to turn filters on and off that involve personalization.

Until then, the wider a variety of different terms you use frequently in searches - including ones that you disagree with - the wider the number of results you are bound to get in return. They'll just get included in your filter by default if you use them often enough - even if you don't read all the results.

If you're liberal and searching for something on politics, put "GOP", "Republican", and "conservative values" into your searches every once in a while. Use "liberal Democrats" "social Democrats", "progressive values" into searches if you're conservative every once in a while. And for good measure, throw in "libertarians", "green politics", and "economy" in with any of those randomly and see what crops up.

You can do the same thing with just about anything to throw off Google's existing filter system, and use different search engines with different data sets just to see how their own internal algorithms work. Consider it your own science experiment in data manipulation - it's better you manipulate your own data than to let someone else do it.

Additional note: The spinning disk in the middle of the screen is a TED issue, if you see it - nothing to do with Camp Other. Keep watching despite it - it's worth the effort and you can see what you need to even with it there.

4 comments:

  1. C.O. said sagely:

    "Google needs to set it up so we have the option to turn filters on and off that involve personalization."

    I nod wisely in agreement.

    But Google is taking over the world along with Facebook. Personally, I prefer Google (but it's close); at least I can find out more information that I want easier there than at FB. Which brings up the question: Why have all the ads for catheters been appearing on my set recently?????

    Maximize revenue from your online content

    Google AdSense is a free program that empowers online publishers to earn revenue by displaying relevant ads on a wide variety of online content, including:



    AdSense. I wrote about it extensively a few years ago when 'certain' Lyme marketeers plying their wares liberally in Lyme forums. We were invited to 'click' on this or that url which put a few pennies into the marketeers pockets. AdSense will be with us until things aren't for sale anymore. (grin)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey cave76,

    I prefer Google to Facebook too, but you probably already knew that given my entry about Facebook's labyrinth of Lyme disease sites and how difficult it is to find one that might suit individual tastes. Facebook tries to "self-tailor" to the individual, too, but it's not smart enough to do it where it counts.

    They assume people are going to buy something based on their ads. A certain percentage will - they're correct - otherwise they wouldn't do it. But many people I know just click on the ones they hate and tailor their view so they don't see ads they hate - rather than actually buy something.

    You said, "AdSense will be with us until things aren't for sale anymore. (grin)"

    Been watching Fight Club there again?

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Fight Club"? Oh, no----- that's on my list of do not watch---ever! :)Even though it has Brad Pitt (yummy) and Edward Norton (GREAT!) in it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Facebook's labyrinth of Lyme disease sites and how difficult it is to find one that might suit individual tastes

    Could you give me the name of one Lyme site on FB that is good? I must have missed it.

    FB suits individual tastes for Lyme. Trouble is---- those tastes are usually :

    1. (Let me start with the over arching one) STUPID. That will cover most of them.

    2. Totally lacking in knowledge about Lyme, science and medicine. Not to mention physics!

    3. Those that 'mean well'. The kiss of death and gawd help me from do-gooders.

    4. Egocentrics

    5. Marketeers

    Oh, I give up. Gimme the name of that good Lyme site on FB, please and I'll check it out.

    ReplyDelete

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