Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: The Filter Bubble - a new problem

Expand Messages
  • ElizabethA
    Thanks Vance for bringing this back to the top of the pile. Although I had noticed that the students in class get a different first page when we all do the
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 10, 2011
      Thanks Vance for bringing this back to the top of the pile.
      Although I had noticed that the students in class get a different "first page" when we all do the same Google search (for a class exercise :-) I always just shrugged it off.
      On the other hand - it's great not having to feel silly anymore as I did yesterday during a training session for teacher when, before going to google docs, I first signed out of the google front page as I always do ! (well, thats just one extra little hurdle for big-brother to jump)
      Thanks B for bringing Eli Pariser to the Webheads - I just watched his 8 minute Ted Talk too which someone may also have mentioned.

      My new problem is caused by moving from del.ici.us to diigo after being scared off delicious by the new terms of use it requires following its recent acquisition (you may not have noticed that - because it was specifically about delicious coming under the US data laws, which are not the same as those in Europe) ANYWAY, this move was a jump in the dark, because now (and I think it's new today) I cannot manage to disconnect my diigo account from google. Today my google search page, which I THINK is coming to me through diigo, does actually announce "custom search" in the middle of the page under the logo,(have Eli Pariser's words been heard already?) but it has lost it's easily available "sign out" option.
      In the end, I signed out of diigo .... so it looks as if the move away from delicious was not so astute after all.
      I agree with Elizabeth - oh for the good old days :-)
      amitiés
      ElizabethA

      --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, Barbara Dieu <beeonline@...> wrote:
      >
      > Recommended by Lawrence Lessig, a book to read
      > I read Eli Pariser's book in draft. Everyone should read it in print: The
      > Filter Bubble — http://t.co/YhneDxk
      > https://twitter.com/lessig/status/70386900304789504
      >
      > *Q: What is a "Filter Bubble"?*
      >
      > A: We're used to thinking of the Internet like an enormous library, with
      > services like Google providing a universal map. But that's no longer really
      > the case. Sites from Google and Facebook to Yahoo News and the New York
      > Times are now increasingly personalized – based on your web history, they
      > filter information to show you the stuff they think you want to see. That
      > can be very different from what everyone else sees – or from what we need to
      > see.
      >
      > Your filter bubble is this unique, personal universe of information created
      > just for you by this array of personalizing filters. It's invisible and it's
      > becoming more and more difficult to escape.
      >
      > *Q: I like the idea that websites might show me information relevant to my
      > interests—it can be overwhelming how much information is available I already
      > only watch TV shows and listen to radio programs that are known to have my
      > same political leaning. What's so bad about this*?
      >
      > A: It's true: We've always selected information sources that accord with our
      > own views. But one of the creepy things about the filter bubble is that
      > we're not really doing the selecting. When you turn on Fox News or MSNBC,
      > you have a sense of what their editorial sensibility is: Fox isn't going to
      > show many stories that portray Obama in a good light, and MSNBC isn't going
      > to the ones that portray him badly. Personalized filters are a different
      > story: You don't know who they think you are or on what basis they're
      > showing you what they're showing. And as a result, you don't really have any
      > sense of what's getting edited out – or, in fact, that things are being
      > edited out at all.
      >
      > *Q: How does money fit into this picture?*
      >
      > A: The rush to build the filter bubble is absolutely driven by commercial
      > interests. It's becoming clearer and clearer that if you want to have lots
      > of people use your website, you need to provide them with personally
      > relevant information, and if you want to make the most money on ads, you
      > need to provide them with relevant ads. This has triggered a personal
      > information gold rush, in which the major companies – Google, Facebook,
      > Microsoft, Yahoo, and the like – are competing to create the most
      > comprehensive portrait of each of us to drive personalized products. There's
      > also a whole "behavior market" opening up in which every action you take
      > online – every mouse click, every form entry – can be sold as a commodity.
      >
      > *Q: What is the Internet hiding from me?*
      >
      > A: As Google engineer Jonathan McPhie explained to me, it's different for
      > every person – and in fact, even Google doesn't totally know how it plays
      > out on an individual level. At an aggregate level, they can see that people
      > are clicking more. But they can't predict how each individual's information
      > environment is altered.
      >
      > In general, the things that are most likely to get edited out are the things
      > you're least likely to click on. Sometimes, this can be a real service – if
      > you never read articles about sports, why should a newspaper put a football
      > story on your front page? But apply the same logic to, say, stories about
      > foreign policy, and a problem starts to emerge. Some things, like
      > homelessness or genocide, aren't highly clickable but are highly important.
      >
      > *Q: Which companies or Websites are personalizing like this?*
      >
      > A: In one form or another, nearly every major website on the Internet is
      > flirting with personalization. But the one that surprises people most is
      > Google. If you and I Google the same thing at the same time, we may get very
      > different results. Google tracks hundreds of "signals" about each of us –
      > what kind of computer we're on, what we've searched for in the past, even
      > how long it takes us to decide what to click on – and uses it to customize
      > our results. When the result is that our favorite pizza parlor shows up
      > first when we Google pizza, it's useful. But when the result is that we only
      > see the information that is aligned with our religious or social or
      > political beliefs, it's difficult to maintain perspective.
      >
      > *Q: Are any sites being transparent about their personalization?
      > *
      > A: Some sites do better than others. Amazon, for example, is often quite
      > transparent about the personalization it does: "We're showing you Brave New
      > World because you bought 1984." But it's one thing to personalize products
      > and another to personalize whole information flows, like Google and Facebook
      > are doing. And very few users of those services are even marginally aware
      > that this kind of filtering is at work.
      >
      > *Q: Does this issue of personalization impact my privacy or jeopardize my
      > identity at all?*
      >
      > A: Research psychologists have known for a while that the media you consume
      > shapes your identity. So when the media you consume is also shaped by your
      > identity, you can slip into a weird feedback loop. A lot of people see a
      > simple version of this on Facebook: You idly click on an old classmate,
      > Facebook reads that as a friendship, and pretty soon you're seeing every one
      > of John or Sue's posts.
      >
      > Gone awry, personalization can create compulsive media – media targeted to
      > appeal to your personal psychological weak spots. You can find yourself
      > eating the equivalent of information junk food instead of having a more
      > balanced information diet.
      >
      > *Q: You make it clear that while most Websites' user agreements say they
      > won't share our personal information, they also maintain the right to change
      > the rules at any time. Do you foresee sites changing those rules to profit
      > from our online personas?
      > *
      > A: They already have. Facebook, for example, is notorious for its
      > bait-and-switch tactics when it comes to privacy. For a long time, what you
      > "Liked" on Facebook was private, and the site promised to keep it that way.
      > Then, overnight, they made that information public to the world, in order to
      > make it easier for their advertisers to target specific subgroups.
      >
      > There's an irony in the fact that while Rolex needs to get Tom Cruise's
      > permission to put his face on a billboard, it doesn't need to get my
      > permission to advertise my endorsement to my friends on Facebook. We need
      > laws that give people more rights in their personal data.
      >
      > *Q: Is there any way to avoid this personalization? What if I'm not logged
      > into a site?*
      >
      > A: Even if you're not logged into Google, for example, an engineer told me
      > there are 57 signals that the site uses to figure out who you are: whether
      > you're on a Mac or PC or iPad, where you're located when you're Googling,
      > etc. And in the near future, it'll be possible to "fingerprint" unique
      > devices, so that sites can tell which individual computer you're using.
      > That's why erasing your browser cookies is at best a partial solution—it
      > only partially limits the information available to personalizers.
      >
      > What we really need is for the companies that power the filter bubble to
      > take responsibility for the immense power they now have – the power to
      > determine what we see and don't see, what we know and don't know. We need
      > them to make sure we continue to have access to public discourse and a view
      > of the common good. A world based solely on things we "Like" is a very
      > incomplete world.
      >
      > I'm optimistic that they can. It's worth remembering that newspapers weren't
      > always informed by a sense of journalistic ethics. They existed for
      > centuries without it. It was only when critics like Walter Lippman began to
      > point out how important they were that the newspapers began to change. And
      > while journalistic ethics aren't perfect, because of them we have been
      > better informed over the last century. We need algorithmic ethics to guide
      > us through the next.
      >
      > *Q: What are the business leaders at Google and Facebook and Yahoo saying
      > about their responsibilities?*
      >
      > A: To be honest, they're frustratingly coy. They tend to frame the trend in
      > the passive tense: Google's Eric Schmidt recently said "It will be very hard
      > for people to watch or consume something that has not in some sense been
      > tailored for them," rather than "Google is making it very hard…" Mark
      > Zuckerberg perfectly summed up the tension in personalization when he said
      > "A squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests
      > right now than people dying in Africa." But he refuses to engage with what
      > that means at a societal level – especially for the people in Africa.
      > *
      > Q: Your background is as a political organizer for the liberal Website
      > MoveOn.org. How does that experience inform your book?*
      >
      > A: I've always believed the Internet could connect us all together and help
      > create a better, more democratic world. That's what excited me about MoveOn
      > – here we were, connecting people directly with each other and with
      > political leaders to create change.
      >
      > But that more democratic society has yet to emerge, and I think it's partly
      > because while the Internet is very good at helping groups of people with
      > like interests band together (like MoveOn), it's not so hot at introducing
      > people to different people and ideas. Democracy requires discourse and
      > personalization is making that more and more elusive.
      >
      > And that worries me, because we really need the Internet to live up to that
      > connective promise. We need it to help us solve global problems like climate
      > change, terrorism, or natural resource management which by their nature
      > require massive coordination, and great wisdom and ingenuity. These problems
      > can't be solved by a person or two – they require whole societies to
      > participate. And that just won't happen if we're all isolated in a web of
      > one.
      > Review
      > If you feel that the Web is your wide open window on the world, you need to
      > read this book to understand what you aren`t seeing
      > B.
      >
      > --
      > Barbara Dieu
      > http://barbaradieu.com
      > http://beespace.net
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Barbara Dieu
      I have been following this bubble/privacy affair closely and more voices are raising the subject. Evgeny Morozov, who wrote the book The Net Delusion: The Dark
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 11, 2011
        I have been following this bubble/privacy affair closely and more
        voices are raising the subject.
        Evgeny Morozov, who wrote the book The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of
        Internet Freedom, reviews Pariser's book on NYTimes.
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/books/review/book-review-the-filter-bubble-by-eli-pariser.html

        You can also watch Eben Moglen at the Personal Democracy Forum : The
        alternate net we need.
        http://www.livestream.com/pdf2011/video?clipId=pla_8ad51bab-a440-4e9b-87c8-6e0b9e196903

        Enjoy your weekend!
        B.

        --
        Barbara Dieu
        http://barbaradieu.com
        http://beespace.net
      • Dr. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith
        Hi ElizabethA-- I use Diigo quite frequently, and sign in using my Google Id for my personal account, and a separate ID and PW for the CALL_IS_VSL account. I
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 12, 2011
          Hi ElizabethA--

          I use Diigo quite frequently, and sign in using my Google Id for my personal account, and a separate ID and PW for the CALL_IS_VSL account. I added the Diigo toolbar to Firefox on some of my desktops, and use the Diigolet toolbar on my netbook and laptop (takes less real estate). I have a gmail account, but don't use it frequently.

          So I can't figure out where the problem is for you? I find that Diigo automatically signs me out at least daily, usually after an hour or so, as does Google. (I'd rather stay signed in but it is safer this way.) Maybe if you use the Diigo toolbar in your browser it would behave for you? (I am using Firefox/Mozilla on an iMac Intel OS X.5.) And I do think it is wise to sign out of sites like Yahoo and Google before going anywhere else.

          It is indeed interesting that students in a class will hit different starting lists/pages when they do the same Google search. Are they (or some of them) signed in to their own accounts when they use the search function? I agree with the interview Bee sent--there is already too much personalization of the Internet, and we are becoming dumber because of it!

          Was it me who longed for the good ole days, or did you mean Bee? I am a here-and-nower, as much as possible!

          Cheers--
          --ElizabethHS




          --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "ElizabethA" <eanne_grenoble@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thanks Vance for bringing this back to the top of the pile.
          > Although I had noticed that the students in class get a different "first page" when we all do the same Google search (for a class exercise :-) I always just shrugged it off.
          > On the other hand - it's great not having to feel silly anymore as I did yesterday during a training session for teacher when, before going to google docs, I first signed out of the google front page as I always do ! (well, thats just one extra little hurdle for big-brother to jump)
          > Thanks B for bringing Eli Pariser to the Webheads - I just watched his 8 minute Ted Talk too which someone may also have mentioned.
          >
          > My new problem is caused by moving from del.ici.us to diigo after being scared off delicious by the new terms of use it requires following its recent acquisition (you may not have noticed that - because it was specifically about delicious coming under the US data laws, which are not the same as those in Europe) ANYWAY, this move was a jump in the dark, because now (and I think it's new today) I cannot manage to disconnect my diigo account from google. Today my google search page, which I THINK is coming to me through diigo, does actually announce "custom search" in the middle of the page under the logo,(have Eli Pariser's words been heard already?) but it has lost it's easily available "sign out" option.
          > In the end, I signed out of diigo .... so it looks as if the move away from delicious was not so astute after all.
          > I agree with Elizabeth - oh for the good old days :-)
          > amitiés
          > ElizabethA
          >
        • ElizabethA
          Elizabeth - thank you so much for taking the time to reply [:)] I obviously need to check my settings on diigo, google and/or Firefox - goodness! But
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 13, 2011
            Elizabeth - thank you so much for taking the time to reply [:)]
            I obviously need to check my settings on diigo, google and/or Firefox -
            goodness! But there's definitely no automatic logout at present (I've
            just spent the W/E on my computer !)

            Actually your question "are the students logged in to their own
            accounts" opens a new question for me .. I was going to say "yes"
            because we work wifi in class, (I have 18 netbooks in a plugged in
            mobile cupboard, and the other teachers haven't got wise on their
            potential yet !) so although our wifi connection no longer goes
            through a VPN, access to the internet is of course pasword protected,
            that's why I was going to say yes - but in fact I guess you mean are
            they logged in to their Google account .... I don't think so, but that's
            something I'll have to observe next term - thanks

            As for your last question ... I checked it out .... and the words were
            "makes it hard not to long for ..." [;)]
            so from one here and now Elizabeth to another
            bye - and thanks

            --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "Dr. Elizabeth
            Hanson-Smith" <ehansonsmi@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hi ElizabethA--
            >
            > I use Diigo quite frequently, and sign in using my Google Id for my
            personal account, and a separate ID and PW for the CALL_IS_VSL account.
            I added the Diigo toolbar to Firefox on some of my desktops, and use the
            Diigolet toolbar on my netbook and laptop (takes less real estate). I
            have a gmail account, but don't use it frequently.
            >
            > So I can't figure out where the problem is for you? I find that Diigo
            automatically signs me out at least daily, usually after an hour or so,
            as does Google. (I'd rather stay signed in but it is safer this way.)
            Maybe if you use the Diigo toolbar in your browser it would behave for
            you? (I am using Firefox/Mozilla on an iMac Intel OS X.5.) And I do
            think it is wise to sign out of sites like Yahoo and Google before going
            anywhere else.
            >
            > It is indeed interesting that students in a class will hit different
            starting lists/pages when they do the same Google search. Are they (or
            some of them) signed in to their own accounts when they use the search
            function? I agree with the interview Bee sent--there is already too much
            personalization of the Internet, and we are becoming dumber because of
            it!
            >
            > Was it me who longed for the good ole days, or did you mean Bee? I am
            a here-and-nower, as much as possible!
            >
            > Cheers--
            > --ElizabethHS
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "ElizabethA"
            eanne_grenoble@ wrote:
            > >

            > > Thanks B for bringing Eli Pariser to the Webheads - I just watched
            his 8 minute Ted Talk too which someone may also have mentioned.
            > >
            > > My new problemis that I cannot manage to disconnect my diigo account
            from google. (...)
            > > amiti�s
            > > ElizabethA
            > >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Vance
            I just came across another On the Media podcast on this topic http://www.onthemedia.org/2011/jun/17/echo-chamber-revisited/ Vance
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 16, 2011
              I just came across another On the Media podcast on this topic

              http://www.onthemedia.org/2011/jun/17/echo-chamber-revisited/

              Vance

              --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, Barbara Dieu <beeonline@...> wrote:
              >
              > I have been following this bubble/privacy affair closely and more
              > voices are raising the subject.
              > Evgeny Morozov, who wrote the book The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of
              > Internet Freedom, reviews Pariser's book on NYTimes.
              > http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/books/review/book-review-the-filter-bubble-by-eli-pariser.html
              >
              > You can also watch Eben Moglen at the Personal Democracy Forum : The
              > alternate net we need.
              > http://www.livestream.com/pdf2011/video?clipId=pla_8ad51bab-a440-4e9b-87c8-6e0b9e196903
              >
              > Enjoy your weekend!
              > B.
              >
              > --
              > Barbara Dieu
              > http://barbaradieu.com
              > http://beespace.net
              >
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.