Pariser (2011) defines the filter bubble as a personal ecosystem of information that's been catered by algorithms.
The filter bubble and personalization
Pariser sees the filter bubble as a a consequence of the ‘personalization’ of the internet. Personalization is a core strategy for the top five sites on the Internet: Yahoo, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft live and many more.
This personalization, Pariser argues, “fundamentally alters the way” in which “we encounter ideas and information”.
The Dynamics of the filter bubble
He identifies three new dynamics caused by the filter bubble:
- You are alone in it. Whereas people used to share one niche channel (a left wing channel for example) and be aware that they were watching a partisan channal, Ttoday we are trapped in our personal bubble.
- The bubble is invisible. Most people are not aware of the filter bubble when they are searching for information and they are not aware of the bias that is connected to that bubble.
- You don’t choose to be in the filter bubble. When you look at CNN, Fox News or Al Jazeera: it is your choice. You don’t make that choice online: algorithms choose (partially) for you.
Pariser, E. (2011). The filter bubble : what the internet is hiding from you. Penguin Press.