Tag Archives: Eli Pariser

Can you really trust your Google search or Facebook feed?

When you “google” something you get the same results as everyone else don’t you? When you post something on Facebook, it has an equal chance of appearing in all of your friends’ news feed right? Wrong!

You may not be aware of it, but developers, particularly those who develop social media sites and search engines, are writing sophisticated algorithms to filter content to make it more relevant to you. Have you noticed that Facebook profiles and pages you view or comment on, or photos of friends you “like”, seem to appear more often than others in your news feed? That’s right, content is being filtered in terms of popularity and relevance to you. But what if you wanted to broaden your mind and find out what’s going on in those less “popular” profiles and pages? Well you have to seek them out, which takes time and effort that many of us are not willing to spare. While these algorithms are designed to filter out the irrelevant information they are sometimes blocking out important information that we might want to hear about.

This interesting TED talk we watched on Monday by Eli Pariser brought up some interesting points about the unintended consequences of these algorithms: we get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

While Facebook is a great source of entertainment and information its quickly becoming a bit of a popularity contest: the pressure for brands to gain exposure by gaining the most comments or “likes” is building and seriously increasing the need for exciting and engaging content. We might not like it, and might prefer a more democratic way, but it’s a jungle out there and only the most engaging brands will survive. At Brio Group we can help you create engaging content for your branded Facebook page and help you claw your way to the top of the news feed.

Filtered content is not the only thing you need to be aware of – the online ads you see are also highly targeted to your interests and online behavior which I’ll be talking about in my next blog post about Facebook Ads and DSPs. So stay tuned!

Yours in information,
Janet