In The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser tells a powerful story about how the results that we see when we search the Internet are increasingly limited by personalisation so that what I see when I search on a particular topic may be quite different from what you see — even if we search on the same topic, using the same search terms, at the same time. This matters quite a bit because more and more of us are consuming 0ur news from personalized news feeds with the result that we may never encounter really important stories which the alogrithms factor out without our knowledge simply because they don’t match the profile of stories we previously clicked on. Worrying, too, is the fact that so many of us don’t realise this is happening. As Pariser notes: “In polls, a huge majority of us assume search engines are unbiased. but that may be just because they’re increasingly biased to share our own views.” What I really like about Pariser’s book is that is a very accessible and thought-provoking read — particularly in the earlier chapters. For a quick introduction to the topic, it is worth having a look at Pariser’s TED talk on the filter bubble.
“The Filter Bubble: How the new personalized web is changing what we read and how we think ” by Eli Pariser is published by Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012). ISBN-10: 0143121235; ISBN-13: 978-0143121237.