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Slides from my talk at the Friends of Search 2014 conference, where I spoke about the hazards of increasingly personalised online experiences, causing us to view the world through advertising-biased filters.
Vulgar self-promotional slide Barry Adams
is… Digital Director at multi-award winning digital agency The Tomorrow Lab in Belfast (formerly known as Pierce Communications) Dutch (yes, really) SEO polemicist Twitter ranter @badams Editor & blogger for award-winning blog StateofDigital.com Also blogs at award-nominated BarryAdams.co.uk
Personalised Maps “In Google's world,
public space is just something that stands between your house and the well-reviewed restaurant that you are dying to get to.” - Evgeny Morozov Source: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/05/google_maps_personal ization_will_hurt_public_space_and_engagement.html
The Filter Bubble • Google
will show you things it knows you like; Your SERPs will be full of sites you visit regularly. Your news will be from the sites whose perspectives & viewpoints you agree with. Your maps will be full of places you & your friends have visited before.
Why wouldn’t you want that?
• Because you’ll rarely be exposed to something new and unexpected. • It erodes the commonalities between all people. • Our worldviews will become increasingly polarised, isolated, and self-perpetuating.
Why is it dangerous? •
People get things wrong all the time. • But if you’re never exposed to alternative viewpoints, you’ll never know when you’re wrong. • Result: unshakable convictions that are (probably) based on flawed information.
Technology can imprison us •
Technology does not automatically liberate us; If left unchecked, technology can serve to contain us • New technology is not released in a vacuum; Existing corporate & government structures will capitalise on and subvert the Next Big Thing
Enjoy serendipity “I find that
a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.” - Franklin Pierce Adams
Reject Google’s Filter Bubble Personalised
search in Google is unavoidable. Thanks to Google+ you are logged in all the time, so Google tracks you everywhere. Stop using Google. Seriously. Stop it. Alternatives: DuckDuckGo Blekko Yandex
Reject an advertising-mediated worldview •
Use Amazon when logged out. • Install AdBlock Plus. • Read different newspapers. (Just for the sake of all that is good in this world, NOT the Daily Mail!) • Explore stuff online! • Read Eli Pariser’s book ‘The Filter Bubble’.