IS Magazine Blog

Internet Today

Filter Bubble DuckDuckGo

Image representing Duck Duck Go as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

Filter Bubble DuckDuckGo

You are living in a technology filter bubble according to the search engine DuckDuckGo and  a recent presentation by Eli Pariser. Because of such technologies as personalization and localization, you see in search results things that you have previously found useful and interesting, effectively filtering out other points of view and opinions. Google provides ways for you to get around personalization and localization but the methods are not simple and must be implemented each time you search.

At, DuckDuckGo presents what the filter bubbled life is about. They use examples of someone that has liked climate change action material before online, now being served more of the same on Bing. The results are tailored to your preferences on Google, on Bing, and on Social sites like Facebook. And if you have liked a positive story on Barack Obama in the past, you might be served MSNBC results when you search next time. Otherwise, you might get Fox News results. Everything is tailored to you, or filtered out for you depending on your perspective.

So the Filter Bubble DuckDuckGo is describing is what you are missing because results are filtered to your previous actions online. You miss the opposing views or the unique information you have not seen before. That information is demoted in the search results to a page that you rarely click to. DuckDuckGo’s solution is to use their search service which does not base results of personalization or localization. Google’s solution is to add ‘&pws=0’ to the end of all your search query strings and then change the location in the side bar to other locations until you get differing results. Using Chrome’s incognito mode can also be helpful.