Meta Search (2017)
The Internet is often assumed to be democratic because it exists without central command, allowing for freedom of movement and representation. Simultaneously, information networks produce cut-offs, dark spots and their own particular forms of control and governance.
We look at our screens every day, thinking they are windows, but actually they are mirrors. When we perform a personal search on the Internet, algorithms will selectively guess what we would like to see, based on the information that’s already been gathered about us. The creation of this unique universe of information on the Internet, is what Eli Pariser calls the ‘filter bubble’.
The filter bubble fundamentally alters the way we encounter ideas and information. It controls what we see and what we do not see, it interferes with the interplay between our mental processes and our external environment. The algorithms that constantly monitor every move and choice we make online, are not only ruling out future risks, but also ruling out chance and randomness. As a designer trapped in this filter bubble, I object to these limitations and the personalisation of knowledge. I challenge the accountability of the filter bubble, and the accountability of the individual living in the filter bubble.
Meta Search invites you to be part of my research and objection against the filter bubble using a new interactive and mindful environment to search with the Google search engine. The designed context influences the type of search you would like to perform inside that space. By changing the input, we could perceive the output in a different way.
Let’s start a discussion about how we could possibly challenge the power and control of algorithms. Is it influencing your life? Do you think this is a problem or not?
If we want more control, do we need to demand it?