On The Filter Bubble

Now that we have viewed Eli Pariser’s TED Talk (from March, 2011) and discussed its implications in class, please comment on one of the following questions:

1) Is it okay if you are only seeing search results (articles, ads, etc.) that mirror your political beliefs? <or>
2) Do we need a policy? Should government set guidelines for filtering algorithms on the Internet?

To satisfy the requirements for this assignment, you must either: 1) post your opinion – thoughtfully; and/or 2) respond to one of your classmates’ posts – in the spirit of deliberative dialogue.

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About Dr. Ostroff
Head of Upper School at The Emery/Weiner School in Houston, TX

179 Responses to On The Filter Bubble

  1. I do not think it is okay for a filter bubble to exist. Though it might be convenient at the time of the search for your results to be tailored to what you are really searching for, it can only hurt you in the long run. As responsible citizens, we cannot pretend that all ‘good’ things exist without contrast or struggle. We must also not teach ourselves and generations to come that it is alright to turn the other way and pretend to not see the opposition. If we educate ourselves about a variety of viewpoints and perceptions, we can come to resolutions in a more peaceful and simple way in the future. Kristin C

  2. Dresden S. says:

    I think we should not have a filter bubble and everyone gets to see the same thing. If you are only viewing your opinion or what you believe, how do you know that’s your opinion? Seeing both sides of the spectrum is how you can determine your opinion. I do believe there should be a filter bubble for online shopping but not for goggling news or something you want more information on. The filter bubble will only shape you into what see and not give you a broad horizon of information.
    Dresden S.

  3. Dr. Ostroff says:

    I think it depends on the person. Some people only want to see articles about their own beliefs. I however would like to see results on what’s happening on all kind of political beliefs because it would give me a better understanding of what’s happening. Not giving people the chance to see all views and all points is only hurting them in expanding their own beliefs. Trystan V.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think that whatever somebody googles should be the same as what another person googles and that people should not be receiving bias information. I don’t think it is good for our country that people are hearing one side of a story and others are hearing a completely different side of the story. I don’t think search engines should be forming the beliefs of americans by covering up articles that they don’t think somebody will like. People should be able to read stories from both sides of the totem pole and hear everything that the news has to offer on a particular story and then make their decision about what they believe on this topic.

  5. Isaiah H says:

    I feel it is completely wrong to filter search results on the internet and somewhat of an injustice. We as the people have a right to the information concerning us, even if the information doesn’t directly effect us. There is no way for us to make educated decisions when electing government officials if we can’t relate their political views to current events.

  6. It is not okay if we are only seeing search results that mirror our own political beliefs. The reason why I say this is because that there are lots of different political parties, and different people have their own beliefs. But the Filter Bubble is invisible, we need to expand our horizon to learn something that not only in our own beliefs. And if we can search something that out of our beliefs, we will have more understanding about our government and our society.

  7. Alyssa R says:

    No it is not ok that we are only seeing search results that mirror our political beliefs. Even though we are on one side of the political spectrum, we need to hear both sides of news, and other events that are going on.

  8. Sarah S says:

    I think that it is okay to be seeing searches for only your political beliefs but also at the same time you should be able to see other things going on. I don’t think that it’s the government’s job to be deciding on what to show in our searches. We tend to search the things we believe rather than what we don’t. Even though if we ever do want or need to search something different then we can do that and things about that will still pop up. There shouldn’t be any guidelines due to the filter bubble.

    Sarah S

  9. Tien N says:

    Yes, I think we should have a policy when we’re using the Internet. I think Government should set a guidelines of filtering on Internet to make sure what people are looking for. If that is bad or good. Government can prevent from something bad happen like terrorist. Government should not allow people to go on something like about terrorist.

  10. Jessica R says:

    In my opinion, I believe that any search engine should not be able to restrict what we see on the internet. I understand that they are trying to take our previous searches and our search results that would best fit what we like, but I feel as though we should also be exposed to other points of view. If we aren’t exposed to other people’s opinions then we will not be as informed about the world around you as you should be.
    Jessica R

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s not okay that we only see what the internet thinks we want to see. In order to be responsible citizens, we need to be well educated on both sides of the political spectrum. Thus, we can make a vote that is backed behind reasoning. I don’t think the internet should filter out anything from people’s view if it’s not asked for. Most people are already biased, so by taking out one side of the argument, it just makes it worse and they aren’t going to be willing to listen to the opposing side. Overall, I absolutely think it is wrong that the internet filters out things. It doesn’t give both sides of any argument making it impossible to see both viewpoints.

  12. Zack S says:

    While I disagree with the idea of the filter bubble, I do not think we should focus on trying to put a policy in regards to it into effect at this point in time. With all of the dismay springing up across our homeland, as well as threats on the global level, we should be focused on securing the American mentality and re-uniting our social groups. It seems that out people have forgotten all that our flag stands for and what it means to be an american, and in my opinion restoring our sense of pride and patriotism is priority number one.

    Zack S.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I dont think so because I think that we should be able to choose what we want to look at and be able to see both types of searches and ideas. I think as good citizens we should be able to have the right to view both sides, instead of having a computer or filter bubble make that decision for us. I think that as young adults we should be able to see both sides so that we have a clear understanding on both and then be able to choose from there. Katie K.

  14. Floyd D says:

    Filtering a persons search engine to their own political views is hindering the persons logic because without the other mindsets of the political spectrum, you would fail to expand your ideas and knowledge. Floyd D

    • LucasI says:

      I completely agree with your logic on this point. If we as the next influential generation in the United States are to truly make a difference in our society we must have at least a basic understanding of both sides. The filter bubble basically flips a coin when it comes to politics and says, “Well I think this person is more conservative/liberal. We should probably try and keep him that way.” I do however believe that we too are at fault when it comes to the filter bubble. The “bubble” is supposedly based on our own personal search history which means it takes our searches and gives us more things like what we looked for. Does this not mean that if , for example, I searched for some democratic things and some republican things that the search bubble would be rendered invalid? I am by no means an expert on this but that point seems logical. If we take it upon our selves to broaden our horizons would we not be diminishing the legitimacy of the filter bubble?

      Lucas I.

  15. Jose G says:

    I don’t think it’s ok that we’re only seeing one perspective of things. I think as smart and responsible citizens we should have the right to view both sides of things, even if it mirrors your political beliefs. I believe that as upcoming adults and as current high school students we should have the possibility to view both political sides of the situation to have a better understanding of things. It can also be considered an ‘invasion of privacy’ because websites are not only recording your search results history but also manipulating and filtering your searches by only displaying one perspective of things. Search engines are ‘hiding’ the other side, which I think it is wrong. -Jose G

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