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Me, myself and “the algorithm”. How Twitter users employ the notion of “the algorithm” as a self-presentation frame

Author: Araújo, W., & Magalhães, J.C.
Published in: Compós, 1-25
Year: 2018
Type: Academic articles

This article presents the results of an exploratory research on how ordinary people talk about algorithms publicly, and in so doing perform aspects of their identities. To do this, we look at messages posted on Twitter in 2017 containing the terms 'Facebook algorithm'. From a qualitative content analysis, we identify three basic types of " discursive algorithmic characters", that is to say, the subjective positions in which the person decides to act when talking about “the algorithm". They are: the critical subjects, the represented subjects, and the agent subjects. We contribute to the current literature by showing how ordinary people construct discursive identities in relation to the “algorithm”. In the end, we raise three hypotheses to be further investigated: algorithmic identities may be consciously co-constructed, algorithms are consumable cultural products, and algorithms structure new types of audiences.

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João Carlos Magalhães, Dr.

Ehem. Senior Researcher: Die Entwicklung der digitalen Gesellschaft

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