The Filter Bubble Book Summary - The Filter Bubble Book explained in key points
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The Filter Bubble summary

Eli Pariser

What the Internet is Hiding from You

4 (20 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

In "The Filter Bubble," Eli Pariser explores the dangers of personalized internet content and the impact it has on politics, society, and individual perspectives. He proposes solutions for a more diverse and informed online experience.

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    The Filter Bubble
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    Due to the overwhelming vastness of the internet, many people have embraced personalization.

    It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the seeming infiniteness of the internet.

    After all, there is a mind-boggling amount of data out there.

    Here are some numbers that’ll give you a sense of what’s going on: Over the course of a typical day, 900,000 blog posts are created, 50 million tweets are sent, 60 million updates are logged on Facebook and 210 billion (that’s right, billion!) emails are sent. And this is just the tip of the internet iceberg.

    If that’s still difficult to comprehend, here’s another way of looking at it. As the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, puts it: To record and store the two thousand years of human communication prior to 2003, one would need five billion gigabytes of space. Yet this amount of storage would only hold two days of communication in 2011.

    This overwhelming amount of data is the main reason people have embraced the personalization of the internet. Filters such as the recommendation features that many sites offer simply make the internet a more navigable place.

    Media analyst Steve Rubel even has a term for what people experience when faced with the unfiltered vastness of the internet: the attention crash.

    Today, it’s so easy and cheap for people all around the world to communicate and create content that there’s no way to catch it all. People jump from an email to a YouTube clip to a news site and so on without any focus or capacity to identify what’s relevant.

    This is why the giants of the internet – companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon – started offering personalized filters that uniquely match results with a person’s individual tastes and preferences. With these filters in place, scrolling through the data becomes less overwhelming and finding and identifying relevant information is a whole lot simpler and faster.

    Imagine if Netflix, Amazon or iTunes offered no personalization features. You’d have to scroll through hundreds of thousands of titles, categorized alphabetically or by genre alone, making it the type of daunting task that you’d be loath to undertake at all.

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    What is The Filter Bubble about?

    The Filter Bubble (2011) offers an insightful and critical look at the internet. Specifically, it puts under the microscope the dangerous consequences of data collection and the way it is used to personalize the internet. Discover just how many things are being hidden from you every time you click the search button, and why you shouldn’t always take internet search results at face value.

    The Filter Bubble Review

    The Filter Bubble (2011) explores the hidden algorithms that shape our online experiences and how they limit our exposure to diverse perspectives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with eye-opening revelations, it reveals how personalized content algorithms can reinforce our existing beliefs and create echo chambers.
    • Eli Pariser combines in-depth research, compelling case studies, and personal experiences, making the book a thought-provoking and informative read.
    • By highlighting the importance of diverse viewpoints and the potential danger of filter bubbles, this book stimulates critical thinking and encourages readers to take control of their online experience.

    Best quote from The Filter Bubble

    …personalized filters limit what we are exposed to and therefore affect the way we think and learn.

    —Eli Pariser
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    Who should read The Filter Bubble?

    • Entrepreneurs in the field of media and communication
    • Tech bloggers and analysts
    • Readers interested in the psychology of the internet

    About the Author

    Eli Pariser is a political activist and board president of the advocacy group He is also the cofounder and chief executive of Upworthy, a viral content website. Pariser’s writing has appeared in many respected publications, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

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    The Filter Bubble FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Filter Bubble?

    The main message of The Filter Bubble is how personalization algorithms shape our online experience and limit our access to diverse information.

    How long does it take to read The Filter Bubble?

    The reading time for The Filter Bubble varies, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Filter Bubble a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Filter Bubble is a thought-provoking book worth reading. It sheds light on the importance of being aware of the online information bubble we create around ourselves.

    Who is the author of The Filter Bubble?

    The author of The Filter Bubble is Eli Pariser.

    What to read after The Filter Bubble?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Filter Bubble, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • Effective Decision-Making by Edoardo Binda Zane
    • Going on Offense by Behnam Tabrizi
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