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Beware online "filter bubbles" - Eli Pariser

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As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

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A filter bubble is a result state in which a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user (such as location, past click behaviour and search history) and, as a result, users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, effectively isolating them in their own cultural or ideological bubbles.See Eli Pariser's official website here.Algorithms are controlling what we see, but what is an algorithm, anyway? An algorithm is a method of solving problems both big and small. Though computers run algorithms constantly, humans can also solve problems with algorithms. David J. Malan explains how algorithms can be used in seemingly simple situations and also complex ones. They also help us find dates (check out this TED-Ed Lesson about OkCupid).Colors, camera angles and logos in the media can all prompt immediate associations with emotions, activities and memories. Learn to decode the intricate system of symbols that are a part of everyday life -- from advertising messages to traffic signs.Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media. Pulitzer Prize winner explains how to fix journalism, saying press should 'fire 90% of editors and promote ones you can't control.'
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02/21/2014 • 
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