This Ted Talk came from Carole reminding me of a blog I wrote for the Big Bible site about Theological Ghettos. The way the internet works at the moment disturbs me as it edits out the things it believes I don’t want to see. Google shows me what I want to see. An algorithm decides what my world should look like. Google essentially feeds me pictures of Mother Theresa, Desmond Tutu and Eddie Van Halen. That kind of thing. Give the people what they want! And why not?
Facebook recently introduced a change to the way it works. It has started to push content to your friends when you click “like” or comment upon a post. I assume this means that every time I click like on a Star Wars meme is is pushed through to some of my friends. As they are friends with me they must clearly be interested in the same things as I am – this is the logic that Facebook is employing.
This has shattered my internet filter bubble. The world now looks a little different than before. In the past week I have discovered that a “friend” of a “friend” likes the EDL. I’ve seen numerous racist memes. I’ve discovered that there is a more unpleasant underbelly to the society I am part of. A less pleasant world that I was happily living without. No doubt my friends have discovered that I talk about ‘vicar things’ a lot more than they thought previously.
It won’t come as a surprise to you to discover that I am “politically liberal” and so are a large proportion of my friends. However, Facebook has just let everyone’s guard down. Everyone is now less able to hide “the real you” from the world of Facebook unless they choose not to engage with it. Every click potentially outs you as the person who “likes” pictures of fluffy kittens. Alternatively you may find your more sinister side on display for the world to see as you are “outed” as a secret Belieber.