The Invisible Algorithmic Editing of the Web: Welcome to Personalization

Church Advert: "Google God"

My dad, of all people, sent me a very interesting link to a Ted Talk entitled:  “What is the internet hiding?” One of the scenarios that really struck me in the video was the example of how individualized and personal our searches on Google have become. When asking several friends to Google the same key words, the search results yielded different results for each based upon their stored and cataloged information.

We see this on Facebook, when our Newsfeed serves up only content from people who’s Facebook profiles have been algorithmically touched by us. I have nearly 250 Friends on Facebook, yet I only see content from about 30 or so despite making changes in my settings.

This creeps me out a bit; I don’t want to be categorized and I certainly don’t want to trade my privacy for  a more stream-lined and customized online user experience. It seems like 1984 all over again…….

How about you? Take a look at the video and share your thoughts with me.


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