A downside of recommender systems

This is a point of view I hadn’t even considered before: a recommender system, honed with my personal preferences mined from my history of clicking on stories, buying books, similarity to others’ behaviors, etc., could end up reinforcing my unfounded assumptions about the world, and limiting my exposure to a wider range of information. This reminds me of the presentation by an American conservative internet activist that encourages fellow conservatives to rate high on Amazon books denying climate change, and rate science books low. “I don’t read 80% of the books I rate,” he says.

Is there some constraint I can add to the Google page rank algorithm such that my portal to the WWW does not become a cage with glass walls?

Anyhow, it may not matter as tomorrow is the end.


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