Get the key ideas from

The Filter Bubble

What the Internet is Hiding from You

By Eli Pariser
12-minute read
Audio available
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser

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.

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

Eli Pariser is a political activist and board president of the advocacy group MoveOn.org. 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.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

The Filter Bubble

What the Internet is Hiding from You

By Eli Pariser
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser
Synopsis

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.

Key idea 1 of 7

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.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.