Belief and misbelief asymmetry on the Internet by Gérald Bronner

By Gérald Bronner

This publication discusses the media, ideals, the scoop, the web, and so forth. however it shouldn't be obvious as another critique of the media process, exploring with offended fascination the assumption of a machination opposed to fact arrange to serve a society of domination. most of these theories, whether or not they pertain to conspiracy theories or, extra subtly, to a self-styled "critical" state of mind, have consistently looked to be the expression of a sort of highbrow puerility. this isn't to assert that makes an attempt at manipulating reviews don't ensue, or that our international is loose from compromised ideas, or certainly corruption; faraway from it, yet none of this can be the foremost issue.

In truth, fact can one way or the other be much more unsettling than these myths, notwithstanding subtle they're, that envisage the media process hand-in-hand with undefined, technological know-how, etc, all in contract with a view to lead the "people" clear of the reality. it truly is extra unsettling as the strategies defined during this e-book and that let falsehood and dubiousness to seize the general public sphere are boosted through the advance of IT, the workings of our minds, and the very nature of democracy. and at last, it truly is extra unsettling simply because we're all answerable for what's going to occur to us.

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5. Filter bubbles Let us suppose that two different people, regular Internet users with dissimilar political, environmental and moral leanings, are looking up a piece of information on Google. They are not trying to find the address of the closest pizzeria, but data on death penalty, the financial crisis or the Arab revolutions. Are they going to be offered the same thing, and in the same order, by their search engine? No, if Eli Parisier [PAR 11] is right. Our searches on the Internet, especially if we use Google, are restricted by filter bubbles, which give us the information we asked for on the basis of 57 criteria, among which one our browsing history, our location, the kind of computer we own, our language, etc.

To use Google for keywords liable to be subjected to ideological fragmentation. It so happens that, with the support of screenshots, Weisberg did not find any significant difference between the results shown by the search engine. For Weisberg, Pariser’s denunciation is mainly extremist and his fears unjustified7. When he took the initiative of questioning Google on this matter, he was told: “Actually we have algorithms that are specifically created to limit personalization and to promote variety on the results pages”.

For Weisberg, Pariser’s denunciation is mainly extremist and his fears unjustified7. When he took the initiative of questioning Google on this matter, he was told: “Actually we have algorithms that are specifically created to limit personalization and to promote variety on the results pages”. Similarly, Jonathan Zittrain, law and informatics professor at Harvard, explains: “My experience makes me think that the effects of search personalization are minor”. I have to say that the numerous experiences that I have conducted with my students about the relationship between beliefs and the Internet have led me to be less alarmist than Pariser on this point, but I will return to this.

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