Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Nov 2012 12:28 UTC
Google "Google's quest to guess what we want before we want it has produced an unusual side effect: a disparity in the results the company presents about the presidential candidates. A Wall Street Journal examination found that the search engine often customizes the results of people who have recently searched for 'Obama' - but not those who have recently searched for 'Romney'." A confirmation bias' wet dream, this. The confirmation bias is already one of the root psychological causes of much of the problems in the world as it is - we really shouldn't have technology companies make it worse. Technology - and more specifically, the internet - should fight this bias, not affirm it.
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World Wide Echo chamber
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 5th Nov 2012 21:58 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

The confirmation bias is already one of the root psychological causes of much of the problems in the world as it is - we really shouldn't have technology companies make it worse. Technology - and more specifically, the internet - should fight this bias, not affirm it.


While I agree with that statement, I think that ship sailed some time ago. I've noticed a definite shift in the last decade or so - as more and more of the population has gone online. Previously, it was seen as a good thing that using the Internet meant encountering people from different countries, cultures, etc, who you'd be unlikely to meet in "meatspace".

But it's shifted to the point where, today, I'd say most people online see the "personalized echo chamber" aspect as a prime benefit of the internet. It shields them from the "risk" of encountering anyone whose opinions differ from theirs. And Google just happens to be at the forefront of catering to that, though Facebook seems to be catching up rapidly.

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