The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You MP3 CD – 12 May 2011
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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"
"Well-timed...a powerful indictment of the current system." -- THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
-- THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Pariser still acts as an excellent guide to what data internet companies gather about users, why they gather it and the marketing uses it gets put to - not to mention how the way information is presented to us online involves all sorts of filtering and selection decisions, many of which are obscured from us.
The book is written very much from an American perspective, for an American audience and with very little mention of the rest of the world until right near the end. That's a shame because it is possible for internet services to rely on user data for their core business model, to make profits from this and yet to give the public much more knowledge and control than is currently the case in America. That's not just an optimistic statement; it's the reality from other countries. The very different approach to data in, say, Germany from the US, only gets a brief look-in near the end after many chapters which present the current American situation as being one fostered by technology rather than, more accurately, one fostered by the political decisions that Americans have taken but which others show do not have to be taken.
The other factor to consider is that, as is common with people making predictions about the future in pretty much any field, Pariser falls prey at times to the myopic prediction of spotting something bad which is happening and predicting the future will be more of the same, without any countervailing reactions from anyone taking place.
So whilst Pariser is right to highlight the risks of loss of creativity, culture and functioning societies if all people are fed is information which matches what they already believe and like, there is no consideration in The Filter Bubble of how others might react to protect it.Yes, creativity might be
Yes, creativity might be stifled if you have a monoculture of news and entertainment. But the very costs of that does and will encourage people to take counter-steps to preserve the value that Pariser is worried about being lost. The greater your fear of its loss, the greater the value you put on it - and so the greater the flaw in your picture of the future if that very picture is based on no-one taking any counter-measures.
That all said, although written in a much more lively way than a textbook, The Filter Bubble does act an excellent textbook - a good overview of the main issues and points to consider.
What Eli Parser does is to show the extent of that information gathering and its consequences.
The overall argument is that whilst there are benefits to us there are also drawbacks, such as reducing our understanding of the complexity of world (we are only told the things we want to know) and, consequently society is harmed.
It is not necessarily a new argument but is a persuasive one.
Parser has an easy style of writing and his passion shines through. The themes are repeated a little too much and I would have liked a bit more depth.
But an important topic which too many people will ignore because social media is more fun.
The author states the advantages of this, e.g. when I type in `Cubs' into Google I am very likely to get very different search results to someone living in Chicago typing in `Cubs'. But it can also have its disadvantages, e.g. if I click on loads of celebrity related news stories while browsing Google news, it doesn't mean that I am not interested in more serious news items even if I was to only read the headlines.
As I said it's interesting stuff, especially for people like me who know very little about how the internet works. Unfortunately the author gives very little information on what an individual can actually do about it. I'm still going to use Facebook and I'm still going to order stuff from Amazon, aside from the usual precautions that I assume most people take anyway (like not giving your address on Facebook) there's not really any further precautions someone can take (aside from not using the internet at all)
Of course like most books written on something as fast moving as the internet this book will be outdated soon so if you are interested in it then it's best to pick it up within the next year or so.
Alot of the legislation regarding privacy stated in the book refers only to American law and this coupled with the fact that companies such as netflick (is that it?) are mentioned I'm not sure if a non-American would get the most out of this one.
6.5 pages??!!! Are you kidding me? You think this is such a serious issue that your write a 250 page book but only make the effort to knock out 6.5 pages in the "what you can do" section?
The section on how to defend yourself contains no mention of:
Java script blocking
Pretty poor effort.
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