Facebook Notifications Show Important Updates First

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Interesting it seems Facebook is going to make it harder to circumvent its filters with some of its new features. One feature change involves their notifications system which is now being designed to only show the “important updates” I discussed in previous posts first. Important updates as noted in the last post are those that are personally relevant but what if they think something is not personally relevant to you that is? So this is a change that really worries me. One of the biggest problems of the filter bubble is most users don’t know about it. One day we could wake up and all discover that filters are running things on the Internet and it already be too late to reverse the trend. So it is important to spread the word and educate others on the issue. Those of us who blog regardless of what blogging site your affiliated with concerned with the filter bubble phenomenon should if possible inform our readers about this problem. That is we should use our platforms to increase awareness among others about the filter bubble.

A previous post detailed some steps users could take to pop their filter bubbles but noted there was little they could actually do in doing so which is why Eli Pariser has been pushing for web companies to drop filters or program a set of ethics in them to make sure they also provide us not only with information they think is personally relevant for us but information that challenges or broadens our world view. In an ideal world users could opt-out of filters by choosing to not use Google+ or Facebook, deleting the Web History associated with their Google accounts that keeps track of their web searches, using social networks that respect their privacy more and don’t have filters like Twitter or the open source Diaspora. Should users choose to still use Google+ and Facebook even then they could turn off automatic personalization in their accounts. The problem is as most users are unaware of the filters how can they be expected to opt-out. Ideally users should have to opt-in to personalization if they want it so they’ll know about it. If personalization is automatically on and you have to opt-out but don’t know it how are you expected to opt-out.

 

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