What Are Filter Bubbles?
A filter bubble is a situation in which an Internet user encounters only information and opinions that conform to and reinforce their own beliefs.
Because you are more likely to both share and engage with this type of content, the algorithms are more likely to serve it to you.
Why Should You Give a Rat’s Ass About Sensational Content?
Content that evokes emotion, and does it quickly, gets preferential treatment by the algorithms because you consume more of it and are more likely to “digitally” react to it (by commenting, liking, sharing). These actions make you more valuable to sell to advertisers.
The problem is not all discourse is best served by drama, especially the grand challenges we must face as a society. For example, the complex dynamics of our criminal justice system cannot be distilled into snappy, emotionally charged headlines.
0 + 1 = Binary Thinking
Yes or no, red or blue, off or on, 1s or 0s. Computers, at heart are binary beasts. Wait a minute, computers don’t have a heart. Fundamentally, a computer is a jillion off or on switches: the algorithms attempt to fit you into neat compartments.
Let’s say you exhibit behaviors that indicate you are “likely to buy a house.” Once the algorithm determines you belong in this classification, you are now served content and advertising that effectively pushes you even further toward this behavior, making “likely” even more likely. Replicate this effect across the gazillions of data points that comprise your online identity and you see where we start losing our capacity to operate in the grey areas.
In the context of politics, you are conditioned to be on one “side” and not the other with no spectrum in between. Consider how this radicalizes young men toward White supremacy, Islamic Extremism or Conspiracy Paranoia when amoral machines are determining which box to put them in as they sit on the “likely” borderline.
What Makes Us So Smart?
You do, I mean we do, I mean did we trick you into thinking we give a shit? That we know what we are even talking about? Do we?
It’s clear that even the most educated people struggle to distinguish signal from noise. It’s difficult to parse who is an expert and who is pretending to be one, what is truth, a half-truth and a lie, and what is deliberately manipulating you to sell you a product or idea.
Who is the Authority?
It’s easy to perceive those who attempt to vet and validate for us as the manipulators themselves: the real news is fake news, scientists have ulterior motives, politicians just want to control you, corporations just want to monetize you.
The result is that we give authority to those who confirm our held biases because it “feels” right. Snap judgment is an evolutionary skill humans developed to survive in the wilderness; it’s now working against us in the complexity of our society and the firehose of information drowning us all.
the BRINK, defined
The point in time when something very bad or very good is about to happen. The BRINK. The crisis brought the two nations to the BRINK of war. On the BRINK of (doing) something. Anything. On the BRINK of breaking the Internet. Coming back from the BRINK. An election might pull humanity back from the BRINK of collapse.
Are we on the BRINK of truth?
The BRINK Foundation was formed out of a sense of responsibility and, if we’re being honest, some guilt. We (BRINK) are digital advertisers, content creators and film producers who have been around since the advent of the modern web. If we haven’t actively participated in creating these destructive forces, we’ve certainly benefited from them.
Then the Presidential election of 2016 happened...
Here’s the thing: you can be aware and still spew crap because you are paid to spew crap (like politicians and pundits), and you can be blind, not seeing the things right in front of you because your device is playing you the wrong channel. But if you know how these things work and you still choose to ignore reality, or worse yet, make up your own reality because it suits you, then maybe you need to recenter yourself.
We think the playground should be level. Don’t you? We think the Net should be neutral, the construct open source, codecs should be free and you shouldn’t need an app to see video.
We think there are facts. Not your facts and our facts, just facts. Facts for everyone. Some things are just true and some things are false. That’s the way it is.
Our Mission is to show people the dangers of an unchecked Internet.
On the Internet you are a tool. Did this happen with your consent? The data we create while using their programs is what they are selling right back to us. This looks OK from afar, but how did everyone get so extreme?
we want to pick a fight with the algorithms…
If you sit on the sidelines you will get hurt.
Stand up, close your apps and fight back with us!
See BRINK Foundation Blog >