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Thanks, But I Don’t Want To Live In A Bubble

Several years ago I had the pleasure of teaching computer literacy to children in grades 1-5 at a school for the gifted and talented. I vividly recall advising elementary school students who were tasked with an internet research project to be extremely discriminatory when it came to choosing which link they would click on. I spent a lot of time teaching them what to look for – and what to stay away from. Even a keyword search on something as seemingly harmless as “Howler Monkeys” would turn up all sorts of deviant variations on the theme. Thankfully, the school district had strong content filters, but who knows what these kids would have been exposed to at home?

Now, it appears our information is being filtered for us automatically. Unfortunately, it’s not limited to just those sites with an xxx rating. Now, based on what we most frequently “click” while surfing the internet,  an algorithm makes largely ignorant decisions about who we are and subsequently chooses our content for us.  Granted, I’m kinda’ glad I don’t have to wade through a bunch of questionable sites when trying to research a particular topic.  But I will NEVER consider having vital news and information automatically filtered out of my available options a good thing.  Let me choose. Let me customize my own filters.  Check out this video – what do you think?

Posted May 20th, 2011.

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