Category: algorithms

The platform metaphor, revisited

This is cross-posted from the HIIG Science Blog, and is part of a series on metaphors and digital society hosted by Christian Katzenbach and Stefan Larsson. I recommend the other essays as well: Nik John on sharing, Noam Tirosh on revolution, and Christian Djeffal on artificial intelligence.  Sometimes a metaphor settles into everyday use so comfortably, […]

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Reading the Zuckerberg manifesto

It’s perhaps not surprising that the manifesto published by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday promotes “global community.” The idea that a social media platform like Facebook primarily serves as a community space is consistent with the site’s branding according to techno-utopian versions of a networked society. It also supports the way that Facebook’s […]

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Can Software be “free”? – Taking the case of Qabel as an opportunity to discuss liberty and software freedom.

Recently Matthias Kirschner, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), has renewed his critique of talking about open source software or open licenses in relation to the encryption software called Qabel. He emphasizes that its Qabel Public License (QaPL) is “neither approved by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as a Free Software license nor […]

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A Botifesto

We live in a world of bots. Generally speaking, these sets of algorithms are responsible for so much on the backend of the internet, from making Google searches possible to filling up your spam folder. But an emergent kind of bot, capable of interacting with humans and acting on their behalf, is playing a more […]

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#trendingistrending: when algorithms become culture

I wanted to share a new essay, “#Trendingistrending: When Algorithms Become Culture” that I’ve just completed for a forthcoming Routledge anthology called Algorithmic Cultures: Essays on Meaning, Performance and New Technologies, edited by Robert Seyfert and Jonathan Roberge. My aim is to focus on the various “trending algorithms” that populate social media platforms, consider what they do as a set, and then […]

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