Should Google and Facebook Filter Our Content?
I have three questions:
Is personalization of the Web a step backwards?
Is information becoming less accessible to us because of filtering?
Or perhaps more importantly, is this a loophole that business, government and cheaters can exploit?
Read this excerpt I came across today:
The topic was brought up most recently by alternative search engine DuckDuckGo, which calls out the major search engines for being too heavy on the content filtering. DuckDuckGo has set up a site at DontBubble.us, which provides something of a graphical slideshow to illustrate its point. If you strip out all of the graphics and sub-text, it reads:
When you search the Internet, search engines now show different results to different people. Results are tailored to who you are, based on your search history and your click history. Since you often click on things you agree with, you keep getting more and more of what you already agree with, which means other stuff gets demoted (effectively filtered). This begs the question: what are you missing?
In other words, you are living in a Filter Bubble that promotes things it thinks you’ll like, and demotes (effectively filters) out some of the rest, which may limit your exposure to opposing information. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to pop your filter bubble, because the technology is used so much across the Internet. Source
So the question is do you want your search and news results filtered by Google according to your tastes, OR do YOU want total control over the information that’s served to you?
I don’t know about you but I want my information unfiltered, even if it is supposedly according to my preferences because I prefer to do my own processing thank you. I like my news served raw and I think I can filter better than any bot can. But thanks just the same big ‘G’.
I don’t believe it’s really anybody’s business what I like to read on the web, and that includes Google too. Because in my view that opens a wide path to abuse, including but not limited to issues like censorship for example.
Filtering = Censorship
Any way you slice it, filtering is a form of censorship. So let’s not kid ourselves.
This isn’t about being for our benefit, but more so about tailoring advertisements to bombard us with. And what will happen to all that information when the government decides to demand it? Are you seeing the bigger picture now?
It’s such a comfort knowing that Google is looking over my shoulder analyzing everything that I do … NOT. But this opens up an even broader can of worms over the so-called socialization of the web.
You can call me old fashioned if you like but I want my information served raw and unbiased.
It’s ironical that a company that came into prominence for its so-called “intuitiveness” is so quickly becoming out of touch. Instead of leading Google is just following the pack.
(Tip: Check out alternative StartPage for unfiltered search and protecting your online data and privacy.)
UPDATE: Google has given us a parameter to add to the search URL to Disable Google Personalized Search. BUT there’s no permanent off switch. Why? Because it’s a nuisance and people will get fed up and go back to normal search again. Yay Google.
I believe this is an important topic that deserves more discussion and I want to know what you think..
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