Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Filter Bubble

     The TED Talk that we watched today was really intriguing. Before this, I've always thought that the algorithm filters on the internet was a good thing because of advertising purposes and customization to avoid information cluttering. It is easier for advertisers to have a more narrowed target audience through these algorithms simply because the audiences' likes and dislikes are clear. Since the internet is such a broad spectrum, it holds a lot of information - sometimes too much. Information becomes cluttered which will then gradually become a nuisance to users. Because of information clutter, people are becoming more and more desensitized to worldwide issues like poverty, natural disasters and radical violence because these issues have been repeated over and over again, not only on the news, but also on the internet.

     Now, I have a whole new perspective on the algorithm filters (I guess we could say that I just "dissoi logoi-ed" this?). Originally, the internet's purpose was to bring the community closer together, acting as a virtual agora. Although, today, there is still some sort of conversations on the internet, it is more divided because of the algorithms. Just like what Professor Pfister stated in class about how people tend to mingle and stay with people that share the same political beliefs as them. This is the same on the net. Because of how the internet allows their users to customize their information, people tend to select news or strike up conversations with people that radiates their own belief. This adds to their own hubris thus, in a way, the internet helps increase one's hubris which contradicts with dissoi logoi. They've created their own communities on the web just like how they have in real life.

     Personally, I don't have just one particular news website that I go to for news. I'll usually get news off various news website just because different news websites have different styles and point-of-views so, when I am particular interested with a certain news, I would read about it on multiple news outlets. My ultimate guilty pleasure that I am not particularly proud off is that I shop online a lot. Which explains why my social media platforms are bombarded with various advertisement from various online boutiques. Although there's only probably five online boutiques that I am particularly loyal to, my social media platforms would advertise other online boutiques that I've not heard before. I expected more advertisements from the five online boutiques that I usually go to. I also noticed that Youtube has it's own algorithm filter with it's advertisements. I have a friend that uses my laptop quite regularly and he likes listening to Spanish music on Youtube. So, after awhile Youtube starts playing their advertisements in Spanish. I thought that was pretty funny.

     I don't usually unfollow someone just because they have different beliefs and opinions. I find it interesting to understand their point-of-views. Nonetheless, I belief that society should practice more dissoi logoi on the net. Internet/social media managers should minimize the algorithm filters and make sure that important issues that everyone should share. They should somehow abide to how the mass media tells their audience what to think about.

Natasya Ong

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