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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Filter Bubble

It often seems as if our opponents live in a different universe. Perhaps they do.

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8 comments to Filter Bubble

  • Julie near Chicago

    Heh…very enjoyable presentation. Thanks, Rob.

    As to your main point: It’s an excellent one, which hadn’t occurred to me from that angle (but how obvious, now you point it out!), and you make it quite effectively. Thanks again. :>)

    Searchers: I used DuckDuckGo for awhile, but at that time anyway it often turned up few or no results. (Some say it’s improving; I haven’t checked.) Laird suggested Startpage.com, which I used for awhile. Better than DDG, but …. Nowadays I use Ixquick.com, which is from the same outfit as Startpage; I can’t quite figure out the difference between them. I have the impression that both are “Deep Web” searchers. Presumably neither does tracking.

    Startpage says that among others it includes Google among the searchers it uses.

    Ixquick has a proxy feature whereby you can visit a listed site via a proxy, if the the site will accept proxies, which quite a few seem not to.

    I’ve also turned off Google tracking. And that clearly does affect the results I get on the rare occasions when I use Google to search.

  • Turn your Google cookies and scripts off.

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    FWIW I don’t mind being “tracked” by Google as long as I am aware of it and can opt out, by not using Google for example.

    The thing about the “filter bubble” is that I don’t think people are aware of it (I was not) and I think they need to be if they are to avoid biasing their view of the world.

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    To be clear: the filter bubble is a useful tool. But you need to know it exists and is being applied and be able to turn it off.

  • Paul Marks

    Not a perfect explination.

    I never click on the leftist sites that Google searches suggest – yet they remain high in the lists.

    If the explination offered was correct things such as Huffington Post, New York Times, BBC (and so on) that I have never clicked on, should never appear when I do a Google search on some political matter (yet they do – even after year after year of NOT clicking on these sites).

    This is why I rarely do Google searches now (although I still check sometimes) – because the (the sites) are not what I want.

  • Alisa, how do you turn Google scripts off? What are Google scripts? What do they do?

  • Patrick: I am very far from expert, but my default position in things such as this is ‘less is more’. I do know that some scripts are used by websites for tracking etc. In short, if you use Firefox, you could look into this addon. I am also using this one, although there may be some overlap.

  • BTW, I’d gladly dispense with Google altogether, but I don’t for 2 reasons: so far they happen to be the best at what they are doing, and I see no reason to trust others any more than I distrust Google.