Facebook ‘Filter Bubble’ Is A Sinister Phenomenon

Related info:

Leaving Facebook? ‘Evil Genius’ Social Network Won’t Make It Easy (Daily Mail)

Facebook Loses 6 Million US Users In May (Computerworld)

Facebook Quietly Switches On Facial Recognition Technology By Default (The Register)

Facebook Hires Former Bush Aides As Washington Lobbyists (LA Times)

Facebook founder called trusting users ‘DUMB FUCKS’ (The Register)

Eli Pariser delivers his TED talk (Photo: TED)

The ‘filter bubble’ is a sinister phenomenon. But Eli Pariser’s alternative sounds even worse (Telegraph, June 21, 2011):

Eli Pariser was looking at Facebook one day when he noticed something peculiar. On his news feed, where he usually enjoyed reading through his friends’ comments and links, there was something missing. “I’ve always gone out of my way to meet conservatives,” says Pariser, a liberal tech entrepreneur from New York. “So I was kind of surprised when I noticed that the conservatives had disappeared from my Facebook feed.”

Facebook had quietly scrubbed the feed clean of anything Right-wing – nothing Republican, nothing anti-Obama, was getting through. So what was going on?

“It turns out,” says Pariser, “that Facebook was looking at which links I clicked on. And it noticed that I was clicking more on my liberal friends’ links than on my conservative friends’ links. And without consulting me about it, it had edited them out. They disappeared.”

In other words, Facebook decided that Pariser’s conservative friends weren’t relevant. It didn’t matter that he liked to hear their point of view occasionally; because he clicked on their links less frequently, they had been exiled from his online world.

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