MoveOn.org's ELI PARISER - The Filter Bubble
MoveOn.org's ELI PARISER
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You
Berkeley Arts & Letters at First Congregational Church of Berkeley
$12 general, &6 student, in advance, at Brown Paper Tickets, online or call 800-838-3006; $15 at the door
In December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. According to MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser, Google's change in policy is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years-the rise of personalization. In this groundbreaking investigation of the new hidden Web, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we consume and share information as a society-and reveals what we can do about it.
Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected until now, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Facebook-the primary news source for an increasing number of Americans-prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even an old-media bastion like The Washington Post devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing. Behind the scenes a burgeoning industry of data companies is tracking your personal information to sell to advertisers, from your political leanings to the color you painted your living room to the hiking boots you just browsed on Zappos.
In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs-and because these filters are invisible, we won't know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas.
While we all worry that the Internet is eroding privacy or shrinking our attention spans, Pariser uncovers a more pernicious and far- reaching trend on the Internet and shows how we can- and must-change course. With vivid detail and remarkable scope, The Filter Bubble reveals how personalization undermines the Internet's original purpose as an open platform for the spread of ideas and could leave us all in an isolated, echoing world.
"For more than a decade, reflective souls have worried about the consequences of perfect personalization. Eli Pariser's is the most powerful and troubling critique yet." Lawrence Lessig, author of Remix, Free Culture and Code
"Eli Pariser isn't just the smartest person I know thinking about the relationship of digital technology to participation in the democratic process he is also the most experienced" Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed and Life Inc.
"You spend half your life in Internet space, but trust me you don't understand how it works. Eli Pariser's book is a masterpiece of both investigation and interpretation; he exposes the way we're sent down particular information tunnels, and he explains how we might once again find ourselves in a broad public square of ideas." Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and The End of Nature
Eli Pariser is the board president and former executive director of MoveOn.org, which at five million members is one of the largest citizens' organizations in American politics. During his time leading MoveOn, he sent 937,510,800 emails to members in his name. He has written op-eds for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on The Colbert Report, Good Morning America, Fresh Air, and World News Tonight. View a recent conference talk.
FCCB, 2345 Channing Way at Dana, Berkeley
Books will be available, and book signing will follow the program.
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
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