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When it Comes to Politics, the Internet is Closing Our Minds

Arguments For the question: 

  • The personalization of the internet-the use of algorithms to filter and individualize our search results-effectively insulates us from opposing points of view, reinforcing our beliefs, and making us more close-minded.
  • Before the internet we relied on gatekeepers to filter the information we received, making sure we got what we should know along with what we wanted to know. But algorithms, unlike newspaper editors, do not adhere to a set of journalistic ethics or a sense of civic responsibility.
  • We are being pushed in the direction of passively receiving information rather than actively seeking it out.


Arguments Against:

  • The effects of personalization have been overblown. Differences in search results are minor, at most, and Google, the dominant search engine in the U.S., actively works to limit personalization in its algorithms.
  • The internet has opened us up to new sources of information outside of the monopolies-three major news networks and local newspapers- we once relied on.
  • Living in an echo chamber is a choice. With so many so many news sources available, literally at our fingertips, you can't blame personalization for the narrowing of minds.
Friday, April 27, 2012
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