The Filter Bubble: how personalization changes society

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MoveOn co-founder Eli Pariser's new book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You is a thoughtful, often alarming look at the dark side of Internet personalization. Pariser is concerned that invisible "smart" customization of your Internet experience can make you parochial, exploiting your cognitive blind-spots to make you overestimate the importance or prevalence of certain ideas, products and philosophies and underestimate others. In Pariser's view, invisible, unaccountable, commercially driven customization turns into a media-bias-of-one, an information system that distorts your perception of reality. Pariser doesn't believe that this is malicious or intentional, but he worries that companies with good motives ("let's hide stuff you always ignore; let's show you search results similar to the kinds you've preferred in the past") and bad ("let's spy on your purchasing patterns to figure out how to trick you into buying stuff that you don't want") are inadvertently, invisibly and powerfully changing the discourse.