Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Biggest Filter Bubble - It's In Your Skull

And, the latest hit from my email box:
And you thought the web was an alternative to the mainstream media with its biased reporting. 
Think again. Startling video. 
Actually, the video wasn't bad.  Personally, I prefer to watch it from it's original source.  However, this is one case where the collective right-wing email chain hasn't edited the original video.

But I find the viral forwarding by the right wing chain... curious.

Maybe they stopped listening once they saw Facebook "filtering" wall posts from conservative writers.

But the speaker clearly explained this - it's because he clicks on wall posts from liberal writers more often.  And, Facebook, being a social service, rather than a news agency, prioritizes the posts from the people you most often read.

And, yes, if I read more travel articles than news articles, a vague Google search for "Egypt" will prioritize travel.

Does it really change the content that's out there?  No.

If I go to The Economist, the New York Times, or the Christian Science Monitor, I'll always see the same articles that everyone else sees.

Same if I go to Rush Limbaugh or Keith Olbermann's site.

As to what sites you choose to receive your news from - that's up to the filter bubble that's in your own head.

And if you think that the "mainstream media" is too liberally biased to listen to - maybe that's the biggest filter bubble of them all.

And if you think that viral email provides more accurate information than the people who stake their careers and reputations on the truth of what they write... that "filter bubble" is an amazing thing indeed.