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Your Internet Is Not The Same As Mine
Old 11-15-2011, 12:17 PM   #1
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Your Internet Is Not The Same As Mine

This is an interesting piece on how websites like FaceBook, Google, etc, customize what they choose to show you.

Worth a watch: Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" - YouTube

... and just a little scary.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:15 PM   #2
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Excellent! For those who want a little more info before clicking, this is a Ted talk by Eli Pariser (MoveOn.org) on how algorithms at major Web portals like Google search, Yahoo, Facebook limit what we see on an individualized basis. His call is for more transparency and an effort by the providers to help us avoid getting dumbed down into our own little least common denominator universes. It is a bit scary.

Edit: Google, et al would argue that they are doing us a service by tailoring results to our interests. But Pariser points out that paring down what we see (even if based on our demonstrated preferences) narrows our universe and may not serve the better angels of our nature.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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It is interesting. I had no idea that two people could google something and come up with completely different links. I agree that it is a little bit scary. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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I learned something from this. Thank you for posting.

Now I understand why my DD can Google the same word(s) that I do and get different results!
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:28 PM   #5
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I discovered that little tidbit plus their ugly habit of tracking everything about everybody a few years ago, and stopped using gogle (misspelled on purpose) for anything. Also found that the first 20 or so items on their search results is either paid for, thus getting top ranking or useless adverts of aggregators.

I consider them and facebook to be an evil empire. To be shunned. Ignored yaahoo for many many years.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
I discovered that little tidbit plus their ugly habit of tracking everything about everybody a few years ago, and stopped using gogle (misspelled on purpose) for anything. Also found that the first 20 or so items on their search results is either paid for, thus getting top ranking or useless adverts of aggregators.

I consider them and facebook to be an evil empire. To be shunned. Ignored yaahoo for many many years.
I am bothered by this also for the reasons Pariser outlines. But none of this makes Google evil. Their algorithms are designed to get results that fit what you are looking for. Their paid results are not a secret and tend to be highly relevant to your search as do the "normal" results. I would like to see Google implement features of diversity into their algorithms along the line Pariser alludes to. I suspect Google engineers are interested in doing so as well to the extent they can do so without compromising relevance. You can bet they have seen the Ted presentation and are evaluating it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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There is another search engine that does not keep track of your info. It is at https://us2.ixquick.com/
I also use Firefox with the privacy set to no history remembered and cookies cleared on exit. There is also a setting to tell sites you do not want to be tracked but I don't know how well it works.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:43 PM   #8
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I do like having options.

I know their tracking practices are somewhat known. I can and do avoid those companies I think are evil, or whose business practices I find objectionable, others can disagree with my choices or opinions... Will support those companies that I find have acceptable business practices, until such time as they go to the dark side. Far too many do.

I was one of the very earliest users and supporters of gogle. Abandoned them when their methods and practices became unacceptable to me. Will do the same to any other enterprise.

One can complain and b*tch all day, they will offer platitudes ad infinitum, they only understand votes with feet and pocketbook.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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If you have a Google account, you can change settings to tell Google not to track your search history for purposes of new searches. (They'll still track your history, but won't consider it in determining search results.). There's a cookie based option to opt out of search history influence if you are not logged in.

http://www.google.com/support/websea...n&answer=54048
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