Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Filter Bubble Cover Art

The Filter Bubble

Author: Eli Pariser
Publisher: Penguin Press
ASIN: 1594203008

About This Book

Eli Pariser sees personalization as the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years. In this investigation of the new "hidden" Web, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we as a society consume and share information.

Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Facebook—a primary news source for an increasing number of Americans—prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even the Washington Post devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing. Behind the scenes, a burgeoning industry of data companies is tracking your personal information to sell to advertisers, from your political leanings to the color you painted your living room to the hiking boots you just browsed on Zappos.

In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs. And because the filters are invisible, we won't know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, and the author says that this will expose us to fewer of the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas.

Eli Pariser is the board president and former executive director of, one of the largest citizens' organizations in American politics and one that grew from the power of electronic communication. He has written op-eds for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on The Colbert Report, Good Morning America, Fresh Air, and World News Tonight.




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