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Ted Video: Filter Bubbles! How Google and Facebook can affect your perceptions.

     

BeeDeeDubbleU

9:05 am on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This is a really interesting video.

[ted.com...]

Brett_Tabke

1:47 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Fascinating video.

57 signals Google knows about you, even if you aren't logged in...

It almost leads me to say that Google may have left China, but they are still censoring (aka: Personalizing) results as much as they used too. Google continues to perpetrate the myth that some how a machine did it.

Don't think so? Watch the video and look at the results for "Egypt". Sure looks like editorial political censorship to me.

Staffa

3:28 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen the video yet (apparently I need a newer version of Flash) but if this is all about Google tracking then why do I get this second error from the Ted site stating :

"If your browser allows only "trusted sites" to execute Javascript, you should add the "googleapis.com" domain to your whitelist to allow our Flash detection to work properly"

I have javascript turned on but WHY would I add googleapis as a trusted site ? ....so that they can track even better ?

mromero

4:38 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Really creepy stuff. It boils down to robots curating the Internet. The end result:

huge savings in staff expenses and more control of the "sheaple" - Bing it to see an amusing picture before the mods delete this post.

This is so sad and depressing at the same time especially since the search engines are so connected to the spy agencies and the government.

Demaestro

5:25 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Great video and a great point of view.

I don't find the behavior creepy though, to me this is an unintentional side-effect of them trying to accomplish something else. Which is targeted ads and content as well as tracking consumer data and behavior.

Hopefully with the downside of their implementation having some light shed on it, it will help to change their approach going forward.

ErnestHemingway

7:15 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)



Great video loved the presentation and things he talked about. Google and other sites should certainly give us space to breath if they want to be as successful as they are in the next 5-10 years. Let us personalize our search and not by enforcing your algos by showing us results that you think are relevant to us.

walkman

8:00 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)



It almost leads me to say that Google may have left China, but they are still censoring (aka: Personalizing) results as must as they used too. Wow, atleast the Chinese were honest about it, while Google continues the myth that some how a machine did it.

Just wow! At 3.20 he lets it go. A tiny tweak and they can brainwash millions.

HuskyPup

8:22 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)



That's one of the fastest 9 minutes I've ever seen. I've been saying this for quite some time now however he presents it so much better than I ever could:-)

BeeDeeDubbleU

8:56 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yes, the guy is a natural. He makes it all so easy to understand.

Panthro

10:00 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)



Good video. I thought this guy was a little clumsy, personally, but who wouldn't be up there in front of that many people.

I would have liked to see him make some kind of suggestion about either how the algos should be coded or else advocate that the filters or "gatekeepers" be done away with entirely. He gives no good alternative to the status quo and, imo, that takes away the effectiveness of his argument or presentation.

walkman

10:08 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)



Panthro, he alternative is to stop showing me results based on what you think I want to see.

tedster

10:17 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Exactly - and not only Google, but also Yahoo and Bing have already put a lot of dev time into going down the personalization road. So I doubt that we'll see a complete abandonment of that attempt. But it surely doesn't need to be as extreme as it sometimes is.

ErnestHemingway

11:01 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)



@Tedster

It would be great if they give us the ability to turn it on and off. Currently it is personalized to an extreme level. For instance when I am searching for "blue widgets" first 3 results seem okay but after that I see results that have connection with my Gmail contacts and none of them are what I want.

Even if you are signed out the results are still personalized. I would say an option to turn it on and off would be great. Or even better just add the options on the left hand sidebar of Google where users can tweak their personalization. Such as friend suggestions, etc etc.

Reno

11:02 pm on May 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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stop showing me results based on what you think I want to see

This has been a huge push with Google et al for a long time, so it's not going anywhere. The alternative? A prominent box on the search page:

[_] Turn Off Personalization

I check it, the page reloads, I stop seeing what THEY think I want to see. Even if I have to do it every time, I can live with that ~ just give me the choice!

.......................

BeeDeeDubbleU

7:35 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I check it, the page reloads, I stop seeing what THEY think I want to see. Even if I have to do it every time, I can live with that ~ just give me the choice!

I totally agree. It is shocking that we do not get the choice and this video clearly illustrates the problems this can create.

The Internet is now probably most students' first choice study tool. It is not right that they should be served results based on commercial influence. We should be making noises about this everywhere possible because most people are not aware that it is happening and it would be so easy for Google et al to fix.

The search engines are doing too much underhand stuff nowadays without the general public being made aware of it. Talk about cloaking!

Andem

7:54 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I really enjoyed watching that video, thanks BeeDeeDubbleU. I have 3 home PCs and I notice different results. I use the computer both for different things and one of my laptops is usually used more when I'm travelling, it's *not* logged into Google.

Also interesting and actually frightening that political events such as those happening in Egypt were effectively censored.

HuskyPup

11:46 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)



It would be great if they give us the ability to turn it on and off.


Hmmm...ok, try using a browser without cookies and clearing the cache on a regular basis.

I use pcs, laptops, netbooks and tablet pcs and on all except the tablet I have Opera, SeaMonkey, Chrome, K-Meleon, Navigator (yep, it still works beautifully, MSIE and Firefox (the only one with cookies enabled) and I know I do not have this problem.

I realised the route these companies were taking a few years ago when I was in India on business and users in my offices could not see what I could see on my laptop even though we were on the same wireless network.

That changed a lot of users attitudes that day.

rustybrick

11:48 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



But it is not all true - this is not how Google works exactly. A bit over the top, imo.

walkman

12:00 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)



But it is not all true - this is not how Google works exactly. A bitover the top, imo.

So Google works 99.99%, 0.001% or what this way?

BeeDeeDubbleU

12:42 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hmmm...ok, try using a browser without cookies and clearing the cache on a regular basis.

I think you may be missing the point. This is not about us. It's about Joe Bloggs.

Reno

1:05 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



try using a browser without cookies and clearing the cache
.....
This is not about us. It's about Joe Bloggs.

Exactly, and even for those of us comfortable with computers, it is a multi-step task to clear cookies and the cache.

The next generation of browsers will gain quick & wide acceptance if they make privacy protection priority #1, and create a logical interface that allows typical websurfers to easily protect themselves, and do that in a simple surgical manner.

For example, I want to quickly delete only certain cookies, not ALL cookies; I may want to remove only part of my surfing history, not the whole thing. That needs to be easy & intuitive for the casual computer user, and right now it's not (at least with the world's most popular browser, IE).

With Google, Facebook, et al constructing huge database profiles of us all, the public is depending on Microsoft and Apple to build in some level of optional safeguards. Believe me, I am aware of the irony of that statement!

................

chewy

1:05 am on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



remember 57 signals -

how many do you clear when you clear cookies and cache?

how many when you use a real proxy?

it can't be that many - how would one go about testing this?

lucy24

9:32 pm on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Hmmm...ok, try using a browser without cookies and clearing the cache on a regular basis.

It makes no difference.

Turn on the computer after 8-10 hours down-- enough for my floating IP address to reset itself. It thinks I live in Oakland, which is not the case.

Open a browser I never normally use. Clear cache, history, all cookies. Quit browser. Reopen. Go to google (whose "sign on" box at this point claims not to know who I am). To be exact, google.com manually typed in, where I normally click a link to Google Advanced. Enter my experimental test string.* Pop! There I am at #5. Or, inexplicably, #4 in one browser, and less inexplicably #3 in Canada.

This is obviously bogus; I've tried the same string on the library's public terminal, which is as close to "neutral" as you can get, short of concealing your IP address. There the same string is so far down that I get bored before ever finding it. (The phrase yields around 10^9 hits, of which google won't go beyond 1000, so the page may not be there at all. Some days google eats about 30% of the results, dropping the total from 1,200,000,000 to 900,000,000, but let's try not to think about that.)

Wait, here's the scary part. If I look up the same phrase in Metacrawler, it comes up around #9 based on-- they say-- Google, Bing and Yahoo. It's nowhere (i.e. way, way down) for Bing/Yahoo, meaning that they have to be factoring in Google's personalized number. In a second-hand search. Brr.


* "they have a word for it", no exact-phrase quotes. There have got to be hundreds if not thousands of pages that use this as a title.

chewy

7:24 pm on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



and here are more people trying to figure out the aforementined 57 signals.

[further.co.uk...]

lucy24

9:35 pm on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



In my corner of the state, all Internet connections bottleneck at a single physical cable part of which runs under a highway in a landslide-prone region leading to a connection with the rest of the world. So even if you've got a floating IP and the lookup says you could live anywhere from Oakland to Redding, it's a dead giveaway when the second-- or second-to-last-- stop on your route is always the same place.

Anyway, I give up. After my latest run of experiments with the library's public terminal, I've decided that google simply scans my irises. How they contrive to do this when the library's computers don't even have the camera thingie is a mystery, but I'm not losing sleep over it.
 

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