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João Carlos Magalhães, Dr.

João Carlos Magalhães is a senior researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, working in the Evolving Digital Society research group. Previously, João researched and taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he received a PhD in new media.

Much of his work explores the political and moral ramifications of algorithmic media and technologies. At the HIIG, he heads an EU-funded project that is mapping out social media platforms’ governance structures, with a focus on copyright policies and automated filters. In 2020, he was awarded a fellowship from the Wikimedia Foundation to help create an open database of platforms’ policies. His thesis, funded by an LSE Doctoral Scholarship, argued that Facebook’s AI-driven public space enables a form of bottom-up authoritarianism, in which citizens can only be heard by silencing themselves and others — what might demand a reconsideration of what an ‘ethical algorithm’ ought be. In 2021, he finished a project that looked into how Big Tech’s ‘AI for social good’ initiatives extend data colonialism.

He has also investigated the the use of microtargeting by political campaigns, the appropriation of the term ‘algorithm’ by ordinary people, the connections between media, recognition and ethics, and how the British press (mis)represented Jeremy Corbyn. Before becoming an academic, João worked as a journalist in Brazil, when he won some of the most important journalistic prizes in Latin America.

Joao Magalhaes | HIIG

Position

Senior Researcher: The evolving digital society

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Magalhães, J.C., & Couldry, N. (2021). Giving by taking away: Big Tech, data colonialism and the reconfiguration of social good. International Journal of Communication, 15, 343-362. Publication details

Magalhães, J. C., Katzenbach, C. (2020). Coronavirus and the frailness of platform governance. Internet Policy Reiew. Publication details

Campanella, B., & Magalhães, J.C (2019). Media, recognition and constitution of subjectivity. Contracampo: Brazilian Journal of Communication, 38(2). DOI: 10.22409/contracampo.v38i2 Publication details

Magalhães, J. C. (2018). Do Algorithms Shape Character? Considering Algorithmic Ethical Subjectivation. Social Media + Society, 4(2), 1-10. DOI: 10.1177/2056305118768301 Publication details

Araújo, W., & Magalhães, J.C. (2018). Me, myself and “the algorithm”. How Twitter users employ the notion of “the algorithm” as a self-presentation frame. Compós, 1-25. Publication details

Cammaerts, B., DeCillia, B., & Magalhães, J. C. (2017). Journalistic transgressions in the representation of Jeremy Corbyn: From watchdog to attackdog. Journalism, 21(2), 191-208. DOI: 10.1177/1464884917734055 Publication details

Working paper

Anstead, N., Magalhães, J.C., Stupart, R., & Tambini, D. (2019). Facebook advertising in the 2017 United Kingdom general election: The uses and limits of user-generated data. European Consortium of Political Research. Publication details

Other publications

Katzenbach, C., Magalhães, J. C., Kopps, A., Sühr, T. & Wunderlich, L. (2021). The Platform Governance Archive. Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Publication details

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C. (2017). The final days of Labour’s Facebook GE2017 campaign. LSE Blogs. Publication details

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C (2017). Is the Conservative Party deliberately distributing fake news in attack ads on Facebook? LSE Blogs. Publication details

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C. (2017). Labour’s advertising campaign on Facebook (or “don’t mention the war”). LSE Blogs. Publication details

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C. (2017). How the Liberal Democrats are using Facebook ads to court ‘remainers’. LSE Blogs. Publication details

Magalhães, J.C. (2016). Have the mass media fuelled Brazil’s turmoil? OXPOL Blog. Publication details

Lectures and presentations

Leibniz Media Lunch Talk
Voice Through Silence: Algorithmic Visibility and Bottom-Up Authoritarianism in the Brazilian Crisis. Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI). Online, Hamburg, Germany: 04.05.2021 Further information

João Carlos Magalhães

Researching AI and Content Moderation: Trends, Tools and Methods
Oxford-UJ Global Media Policy Seminar Series. Freie Universität Berlin, Weizenbaum Institute, School of Communications at the University of Johannesburg, & Centre for Socio-Legal Studies’ Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford. Online, Oxford, England: 27.04.2021 Further information

Christian Katzenbach, João Carlos Magalhães

Emerging Structures of Platform Governance and Copyright. Methods and Challenges in Studying Content Policies
Public and private regulatory framework of online intermediaries. University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary: 05.05.2020

João Carlos Magalhães, Christian Katzenbach

Voice as silencing: algorithmic visibility and the rise of ordinary authoritarianism in the Brazilian political crisis
Conference: DATA POWER: global in/securities. ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research. Universität Bremen, Bremen, Germany: 12.09.2019

João Carlos Magalhães

Voice as silencing: algorithmic visibility and the rise of ordinary authoritarianism in the Brazilian political crisis
IAMCR 2019: Communication, Technology and Human Dignity: Disputed rights, contested truths. Facultad de ciencias de la información. Universidad Compultense de Madrid (UCM), Madrid, Spain: 10.07.2019

João Carlos Magalhães

Voice as silencing: algorithmic visibility and the rise of ordinary authoritarianism in the Brazilian political crisis
Conference: Digital People, Digital Politics. Department of Digital Humanities, Faculty of Arts & Humanities. King's College London, London, United Kingdom: 17.05.2019

João Carlos Magalhães

Voice as silencing: algorithmic visibility, recognition costs and the erosion of civic voice in the Brazilian political crisis
Conference: A Horizon of (Im)possibilities: Reflecting on the Social Implications of Recent Political Upheaval in Brazil. School of Advanced Study, University of London. King's College London, London, United Kingdom: 22.02.2019

João Carlos Magalhães

Me, myself and ‘the algorithm’: How Twitter users employ the notion of “the algorithm" as a self-presentation frame
AoIR 2018: Transnational Materialities. Association of Internet Researchers. Le Centre Sheraton Montréal Hotel, Montréal, Canada: 11.10.2018

João Carlos Magalhães

Facebook advertising in the 2017 United Kingdom General Election
APSA 2018: Democracy and Its Discontents. Hynes Convention Center, Boston Marriott Copley Place, and Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, United States: 30.08.2018

João Carlos Magalhães

Me, myself and ‘the algorithm’. How Twitter users employ the notion of “the algorithm” as a self-presentation frame
Encontro Anual: Compós 2018. PUC Minas Belo Horizonte, Belo Horizonte, Brazil: 08.06.2018

João Carlos Magalhães

The moral paradox of recognition on algorithmic social media
ICA 2018: Voices. International Communication Association. Hilton Prague, Prague, Czech Republic: 24.05.2018

João Carlos Magalhães

Facebook advertising the 2017 United Kingdom General Election: The uses and limits of user-generated data
Workshop: Social media and data driven targeting in election campaigns. Department of Political Science, University of Perugia & Damian Tambini, London School of Economics. University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy: 16.02.2018

João Carlos Magalhães

My lovely useless Facebook bubble: Ambiguous perceptions of algorithm-driven political homophily and the emergence of a liminal political recognition in Brazil
ECREA Symposium: Digital Democracy: Critical Perspectives in the Age of Big Data. European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden: 11.11.2017

João Carlos Magalhães

My lovely useless Facebook bubble: Ambiguous perceptions of algorithm-driven political homophily and the emergence of a liminal political recognition in Brazil
IAMCR 2017: New Discourses and New Territorialities: Cultural and political mutations and communication. Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios - UNIMINUTO, School of Communications. Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, Cartagena, Colombia: 18.07.2017

João Carlos Magalhães

Algorithmic visibility: Elements of a new regime of visibility
Connected Life Conference 2017: Digital Inequalities. Oxford Internet Institute. University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom: 19.06.2017

João Carlos Magalhães

Algorithmic visibility: Elements of a new regime of visibility
ECPR 2017: Joint Sessions of Workshops. European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom: 26.04.2017

João Carlos Magalhães

The regime of ethics of big data
ICA 2016 Preconference: Big Data Alternatives. International Communication Association (ICA). Fukuoka Sea Hawk Hilton Hotel, Fukuoka, Japan: 09.06.2016

João Carlos Magalhães

The regime of ethics of big data
PhD School: Big Data Ethics. IT University of Copenhagen. IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark: 23.05.2016

João Carlos Magalhães

Organisation of events

The First Annual Conference of the Platform Governance Research Network
From 24.03.2021 to 26.03.2021. Online, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) (International) Further information

Robert Gorwa, João Carlos Magalhães, Clara Iglesias Keller, Amélie Heldt, Christian Katzenbach

Media appearances

No, the Internet Is Not Good Again (16.04.2020). The Atlantic
Further information