Eli Pariser, the former Executive Director of MoveOn.org and their current Board Chair, highlights the hidden and growing impact of online filters on Google, Facebook, and throughout the internet in this TED video. These filters give greater and greater weight to the information a person tends to look at online first. Over time the algorithms filter out less frequent interests, to the point that publications, people, and ideas are no longer presented at all.
What might this mean for the arts? The most passionate arts supporters should hear more and more about the cultural events and organizations they love. But for the much larger majority, for whom the arts, an art form, or an organization is an infrequent interest, the algorithms threaten to remove the art entirely from the information they see and their social landscape. These hidden algorithms are another piece of the challenge arts organizations face as they work to build relevance in their communities.