The Dangers of Filtered Information via Google and Facebook Exposed

Without your realizing it, a lot of information that you get from the web is edited for you. Facebook chooses which friends appear in your news feed. Google results are tailored based on 57 signals that Google reads about you.

The sheer volume of information and content out there on the web has forced filtering. In the old days the information we consumed was controlled by editors. Editors are being replaced by algorithms on sites like Facebook and Google and pretty much most of the other big sites you use on the web.

Even though most people are oblivious to the use of algorithms to sift what they search, it’s widely believed that they are a good thing. Less is more. Right? Eli Pariser of MoveOn.org gave a talk at TED that challenges the use of algorithms and the cultural impact of filtering information. (Video is 9 minutes long.)

This is by far the smartest thinking I have seen when it comes to this subject. Attendees agreed. To wit, he gets a standing ovation.