I know this has been posted all over the place, but in case you hadn’t seen it – this is a quick talk about the internet filter bubble. In it, Eli Pariser talks about how google and Facebook (along with Yahoo News) try to make guesses at what information you might be interested in, and custom-tailor their results to fit you. Of course, this leads to a problem in that the web results can reinforce pre-existing beliefs without dissenting opinions. If you’re politically liberal or conservative, religious or an atheist, the web will accommodate you and return results that support your views. In fact, it might begin to seem like the whole internet pretty much agrees with you, which can lead to a false sense of consensus.
It’s not clear what the solution is, given that it seems to be in internet companies’ best interests to do this filtering (i.e. it retains customers/users). In response to this talk, I expect that Google might provide some sort of “unfiltered results” button, but it will be off by default.