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Data Mining- The Filter Bubble

According to Wikipedia.com, "Data mining (the analysis step of the "Knowledge Discovery in Databases" process, or KDD), a field at the intersection of computer science and statistics, is the process that attempts to discover patterns in large data sets. It utilizes methods at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics, and database systems. The overall goal of the data mining process is to extract information from a data set and transform it into an understandable structure for further use" ("Data Mining" ).

"As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy. Pioneering online organizer Eli Pariser is the author of "The Filter Bubble," about how personalized search might be narrowing our worldview" ("Eli Pariser: Beware Online "filter Bubbles"").

This is indeed true, and individual internet users always gets a personalized view of issues or search results on the internet, which makes them live within a bubble, although the internet may, however, seem like its connecting the whole world and exposing new/opposing ideas. This applies to every internet user including myself. I do believe I live in an online bubble, being fed with customized search results by Google. In addition, specific advertisements customized just for me. As I once noted, this information creates a simple bubble of which I currently live in, by limiting the ideas and information I am provided with by Google and, in fact, the Internet. Google looks at what kind of computer I use, my browser, and my location, and try to customize my result based on this information. Various Internet users' search result may be compared and be easily noticeable as being different because of the data mining procedures made by Google, in order to customize our results. Companies in the on-demand Internet streaming media business such as Netflix, Hulu, do something very similar to Google. They basically recommend and let movies of which they believe seems very similar to our taste show up on their websites, once we open them. This is a very complex system, but as well, seems very effective to these website companies.

A very interesting quote from a speech given by Eli Pariser called Beware online "filter bubbles" that can be found on Ted.com is that "In a broadcast society, there were these gatekeepers, the editors, and they controlled the flows of information. Along came the Internet and it swept them out of the way, and it allowed all of us to connect together, and it was awesome. But that's not actually what's happening right now. The Internet is showing us what it thinks we want to see, but not necessarily what we need to see" ("Speakers Eli Pariser: Organizer and Author").

We need to be careful and not get trapped in this bubble containing ideas and information that seems likeable by us, as Eli Pariser notes "Facebook was looking at which links I clicked on, and it was noticing that I was clicking more on my liberal friends' links than on my conservative friends' links. And without consulting me about it, it had edited them out. They disappeared" ("Eli Pariser: Beware Online "filter Bubbles"" ).


"Data Mining." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Oct. 2012. Web.
29 Oct. 2012.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_mining.

"Eli Pariser: Beware Online "filter Bubbles"" TED: Ideas worth Spreading. N.p., n.d. Web.
29 Oct. 2012. http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html.

"Speakers Eli Pariser: Organizer and Author." Eli Pariser. N.p., n.d. Web.
29 Oct. 2012. http://www.ted.com/speakers/eli_pariser.html.