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Bubble filter How do algorithms show you what you want to see?

Every time more voices join in the digital universe trying to draw attention to the call bubble filter. The subject is not without controversy, since some see it as beneficial for its purposes, while others believe that it has arrived for control somehow to Internet users.

As of 2011, the year in which the cyber activist Eli pariser published his book “The Filter Bubble”, the concept has not ceased to haunt the minds of many, putting the giants of the ICTs.

However, if we all agreed with what was expressed in said book, we’d be falling into the ‘Pariser bubble’, so it is necessary to see all this from different perspectives. That is why we invite you to read our article on the subject, so that you can take your own conclusions.

What is the filter bubble and how does it influence my digital experience?

Bubble-Filter

Being Pariser the creator of the term, it is necessary to say with him that the filter bubble is the personal ecosystem of information that has been provided by algorithms. This means, according to his vision, that in said ecosystem Artificial Intelligence has the leading role.

Although to some such a concept seems irrefutable, Pariser leaves aside the improvement of the user’s browsing experience, through personalization of Internet searches. In this sense, it is necessary to show how important it is to have the option to filter the information personally, in a digital world increasingly saturated with content of all kinds.

How does the filter bubble work? This is how your personal virtual universe is created

We take it for granted that there needs to be some method to create a filter bubble, that taking into account the thousands of millions of sites present in the online universe. In this case we are talking about algorithm in charge of selecting, after a predictive analytics, what the user would like to see on a topic or on a particular product.

It is clear that, for this to be possible, it is necessary that the user always carry out your searches from the same device, since otherwise the aforementioned analysis would be impossible to perform by the algorithm. To put it with an example, if you search from your computer About “my good friend Pedro” a significant number of times, you will not get the same results as doing it using your neighbor’s computer. At least that’s how it will be the first few times.

It’s all because the big websites and the google search engine, in an attempt to simplify the use of the Internet for the user, they take note of the preferences of each one based, of course, on the information they are collecting about their likes based on the number of clicks on certain sites. In simpler words, each of us creates our own personal virtualized bubble-shaped universe, being the work of algorithms help us in the task by lending us your filters.

The algorithms of Facebook and Google How do these bubbles work?

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Returning to what was said in the previous section, it is good that we all know the way in which the algorithms of Google and of Facebook, namely the most used search engine and the social network with more users around the world, respectively.

In the first case, Google, This personalizes your searches using as a reference the history that is formed with the type of pages that you visit most often. It also takes into account other information, such as the location of the connection site or the type of browser we use, with which we will begin to get results search based on the data about us accumulated on the platform.

Facebook, for his part, he bases his predictions on the profiles from our friends, family and the type of opinions or comments we like. In this way, the algorithm of the social network predicts the type of news that interests us the most, the products on which to show us advertising and also the best moments to get it.

Bubble filter problems What are the risks of this phenomenon?

We must understand that we are all free to create our own personal universe, whether in real life or on the Internet, marking our preferences as for the type of information that interests us.

The problem is, according to the point of view of Pariser and others, that this makes the world increasingly polarized, which suggests that their greatest concern comes from the political point of view. We reach this conclusion when it is said that someone from thought freel, you will only receive news related to your vision of the world; the same thing happening for those who are inclined conservative current to see things.

What are the tools used to create this phenomenon?

Various platforms, ranging from the two mentioned above, to others such as Amazon, Twitter and websites of different sizes, they use some tools to facilitate and improve the navigation of their users.

Let’s see what they are:

cookies

These files capable of saving small amounts of information, they serve the websites to store data on the activities of a user when visiting one of these specific sites, thereby achieving greater customization.

Algorithms

Search engines, social networks, and in general most platforms, use the machine learning algorithms. These are programmed in such a way that they help the user to find what they are looking for when navigating in the almost infinite virtual world.

Histories

If there is something that clearly configures what interests each user the most, it is nothing other than your internet search history. Through time we are leaving a fingerprint, which is used by search engines and social networks to present us with results and suggestions.

The good side How does the use of these filters improve the user experience?

Social-media-bubble

Despite what has been said so far, not all are problems when it comes to talking about bubble filters. This taking into account the series of advantages associated with personalized use of the different Internet platforms.

This begins by recognizing the great saving of time and resources when looking for content in the immense ocean that is the great Web, where we know that billions of data of all kinds coexist. Not having that possibility would make a titanic task find what we are looking for, at least in the easy way that we currently do.

Tips to prevent the Bubble Filter from taking over your devices

Nowadays there are many movements dedicated to demanding companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, among others, an explanation about the operation of its algorithms. Meanwhile, it is up to each user to find a way to break the bubble.

For that we leave you with some useful tips, which we hope will help you:

Expand your range of information

This mainly when you are looking for information of political content, trying to read online media focused on as many trends as possible. Many experts agree that this is a way of fool algorithms.

Clear your browsing history

You have surely noticed that when you delete the history, the shortcuts will no longer be seen in the new tab. That is because the algorithm will no longer be able to make predictions to display them in the address bar.

Browse the Internet anonymously

Take advantage of your browser tools to protect your personal data, since if the platforms do not have them, they will hardly be able to lock you in a bubble. Another way to do it is using a VPN, which does not record the traffic in a personalized way.