Night-train to Hamburg
A filter bubble is a situation in which a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user (such as location, past click behaviour and search history) and, as a result, users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, effectively isolating them in their own cultural or ideological bubbles. Prime examples are Google’s personalised search results and Facebook’s personalised news stream. The term was coined by internet activist Eli Pariser in his book by the same name; according to Pariser, users get less exposure to conflicting viewpoints and are isolated intellectually in their own informational bubble. Pariser related an example in which one user searched Google for “BP” and got investment news about British Petroleum while another searcher got information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spilland that the two search results pages were “strikingly different.” The bubble effect may have negative implications for civic discourse, according to Pariser, but there are contrasting views suggesting the effect is minimal and addressable.
László Moholy Nagy
Self-portrait, Berlin 1925
London, 1952. Photographed by Robert Frank