Algorithmic visibility: Elements of a new regime of visibility

Author: Magalhães, J.C., & Yu, J.
Published in: ECPR Joint Sessions 2017, 1-25
Year: 2017
Type: Academic articles

In this theoretical paper, we aim to provide a renewed conceptualization of the relations between visibility and media by contextualizing older debates on “mediated visibility” within ongoing studies of algorithmic systems. While the concept of visibility is explicitly employed (or implied) by a large part of the latter scholarship, it has rarely been systematized theoretically. We set out to do this. Our goal is to specify the central tenets of what we term algorithmic visibility. We define it as an emergent form of media visibility regime, in which hybrid forms of media architecture and interaction give rise to the unprecedented entanglement of gatekeeping and surveillance, two historically separated forms of power operations through visibility management. To explore the broader significance of this regime, we also briefly consider how it impacts on the construction of the public domain, focusing on one element: political recognition.

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João Carlos Magalhães, Dr.

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