Tagged: algorithms

democratichands

Is Social Media Killing Democracy?

This is the big year for computational propaganda—using immense data sets to manipulate public opinion over social media.  Both the Brexit referendum and US election have revealed the limits of modern democracy, and social media platforms are currently setting those limits.  Platforms like Twitter and Facebook now provide a structure for our political lives.  We’ve […]

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Keyword: Algorithm

The algorithm, Tarleton Gillespie argues in this terrific essay, stands as a complex administrator of modern life. In it Gillespie demystifies the many uses of the recent keyword algorithm, on loan from Arabic. It is at once a trick of the trade for software programmers, a synecdoche standing in for entire informational systems and their […]

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Facebook Trending: It’s made of people!! (but we should have already known that)

Gizmodo has released two important articles (1, 2) about the people who were hired to manage Facebook’s “Trending” list. The first reveals not only how Trending topics are selected and packaged on Facebook, but also the peculiar working conditions this team experienced, the lack of guidance or oversight they were provided, and the directives they […]

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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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