This week we discussed the affordances the internet creates in the sense of how it allows for dialogic media (as opposed to monologic often found in legacy media formats).
Although the internet provides the opportunity for open conversation; it also creates a space which offers very specific, targeted content which you are most likely to click on. Eli Pariser in his Ted Talk approached this by discussing Mark Zuckerberg’s approach to a filtered timelines on Facebook: “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” As a result, it edits whose updates you see based upon your click history in order to create the optimum engagement for their site, as well as who you talk to most, whose pictures you are tagged in and so on so forth. It prioritises your timeline in order to create a ‘filter bubble‘, insulating you from opinions other than your own — and you never know what it has excluded.
For producers, the internet is a network free of gatekeepers: anybody can publish, with or without credentials. However, for consumers, the human gatekeeper has transformed into an algorithm, not limiting what is posted, but curating what is seen. As such, our internet bubble creates a feedback loop which continuously suggests content which is agreeable to the user, thus cutting out confronting, challenging or controversial ideas in order to create a passive audience within a dialogic platform, almost as though it had been censored anyway.