MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser talks about the rise of personalization on the Web. Facebook, for example, prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even The Washington Post devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing. In The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we consume and share information as a society.
Facebook has more than 500 million active users. Every link you click, every post you like, every piece of information you share with your friends on the site is also shared with Facebook — and their advertisers. Facebook isn't the only Internet company tracking you. Google, Yahoo News and plenty of other sites do the same. But how are these companies using your information? As the Internet becomes the primary way we get our news and understand our world, how might this filtering affect our world view? In other words, what aren't we seeing?