Are algorithms blocking social change?

In 2003, PBS created a documentary called 'The Persuaders'. One chapter discusses "narrow-casting" (above). Politicians and advertisers were purchasing personal data via Acxiom Worldwide and marketing to us accordingly.
Since this documentary was released, algorithms have become extremely sophisticated. Our demographics have become more targeted and our online experiences are tailored to what we already think...or the ideas and language we are most receptive to. We are at risk of becoming isolated in our demographics.


Your google search and Facebook feed are determined by what you click on, what you 'like' and the words that you use. You are not getting the full story of what is happening in the world.

This morning, I was clicking through Facebook and I saw a link from TED that my friend Mariana shared. In this video, Eli Pariser explains how algorithmsdictate what we see on Facebook and on google. 

He lays out a beautiful explanation of how we are at risk of being caught in "filter bubbles" due to algorithm advancements.

How can we make change if we are only talking to other like-minded people? 

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