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.
Friday, May 6, 2011
4 Video: What The Internet Is Hiding From You
Tags: analysis, censorship, collateral effects, critical thinking, decisions, feedback, information, integrity, judgment, process, query, video, wtf