Collaborative filtering and the news

A friend sent me a link to this Flash movie which presents an interesting vision of the future where collaborative filtering of news has made conventional news media obsolete.

Certainly that is a likely scenario – collaborative filtering gets people what they want, but not necessarily what they need.

As it pertains to news delivery, it would probably tend to shield people from facts that make them uncomfortable (think – not being told that George W has won the election because your collaborative filter has decided that it would make you unhappy ;).

It could thus lead to increased balkanisation of the population (as is starting to happen with blatantly partisan news organisations like Fox News) because different people will only be exposed to those facts that reenforce their existing world view.

Of course, I suspect there are probably technical solutions to this, the question is whether people will actually see it as a problem :-/

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