Personalized News: Only News Tailored For You Fit To Print

With the New York Times and Washington Post flirting with personalization despite readers disliking it I thought I’d explain why personalized news is bad. The fact is personalized news is filtered to only show information companies think are personally relevant to us. Only the news they think is personally tailored to us would be fit to print leaving out news and information that we might not be interested in but need to know about because it challenges or broadens our world view.  Now its worth pointing out that some filters on the Web are acceptable like Amazon.com using filters to determine what products its customers might like to buy next based on their previous orders. However, personalized news should be and is in my opinion unacceptable. In fact in my previous post I mentioned a blog post on TheFilterBubble.com that cited a study that while newspapers were embracing personalization their readers were not doing so. Obviously readers aren’t overwhelmingly accepting personalization and as I’ve stated before that’s a good thing.

Again its also worth pointing out that personalized news is not good for readers and its not good for democracy. As citizens we have a civic duty to be informed so we can make informed choices in society and participate in our democracy. So lets ramp up the pressure on these newspapers. Ask them why are they pushing personalization when their readers don’t want it. Now websites with news having social media integration letting users share articles they like on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc is perfectly fine but beyond that for these companies to launch personalized news services that filter our news and information for us is just wrong. Don’t use personalized news services. If you want to use a social network to get breaking news use Twitter which is unfiltered. Let’s reject personalized news!

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