Everyone who needs information from the World Wide Web, uses search engines like Google or Yahoo! to find the specific information he or she is looking for. These engines help us to filter all the information given by the internet with the help of invisible algorithms. Without them we would sit many hours in front of the screen and filter the information by ourselves.
For example the search of a brownie recipe has an output of over forty billion search results.
For this reason it is good to have these algorithms but on the other hand it should be possible to select on our own which information gets filtered or not. For instance none of these algorithms will be able to decide which information is relevant to us. It is comparable to our bookshelves at home. If there are only holiday catalogues in it and I am looking for the latest information about travel warnings in Egypt I will not find it, because I am only interested in the destination itself. As I already mentioned unique ‘filter bubbles’ will be created for my profile as a consequence of these algorithms.
Another significant point is that the user will not be able to influence which content gets into the bubble or gets blocked by the binary gatekeepers. It seems to me, that the internet shows us what it thinks we want to see and not what the user really wants to know. I am not totally happy with that fact. I believe that there won’t be any chance to change our search behavior and the results if we are not aware of the fact of these filter methods. As far as I can see there are many sites on the internet which use these algorithms like Facebook, Amazon and Google.
In the case of Facebook it could mean I won’t be able to see the posts of specific friend ‘A’ because I liked the posts of a friend ‘B’ first. I have to admit this scares me a bit because I may also want to read what friend ‘A’ posted. The fact is that all of this so called invention happen in the darkness and stay there if no one recognizes them and cares about the security on the internet. Summing up it can be said that there are both positive and negative aspects which plead for the invisible algorithms.