August – December 2021read paper
This paper addresses the need and design of personal filtering agents, their implications and consequences on the user and society, and the possible solution spaces in the addressing of their consequences.
In 2019 the total accumulated digital data reached 4.4 trillion gigabytes; Facebook alone produced 4 million gigabytes, which includes 350 million photos and 100 million hours of video watch time, 65 billion messages via WhatsApp, and 95 million photos or videos on Instagram.1 With the vast volumes of data accessible to users, the necessity for filtering agents, which separate relevant data from noise, becomes clear for both the user and the businesses aiming to target specific audiences. The lack of regulation and misalignment of values between businesses and users, however, has led to poor design and implementation of filtering agents, which have been shown to be able to manipulate, extremize, and restrict users, even in situations and contexts beyond access to information and media. This paper aims to map the current state of interaction and dynamics between stakeholder groups and the consequences that arise from the current state and its perpetuation.