Algorithm Literacy in Social Media
Algorithms are an inevitable part of life online. They tailor content for us and they can manipulate what we see, read, and do.
This week’s #hcsmca topic was inspired by CBC’s radio show Spark @sparkcbc, episode 259. In this episode Nora Young (@nora3000) interviews Christian Sandvig (@niftyc) about algorithm use in Facebook, search engines, Netflix and more. To prepare for the chat, I highly recommend listening to this 10 minute conversation: Algorithm Awareness [Audio 9:23]
I’m well aware that algorithm’s influence my search results, the choices I make on Netflix and, most annoying, what I do and don’t see on Facebook. Despite that awareness, I have very low algorithm literacy. I want to learn more about how algorithms shape my social media experience, and how I can game the algorithm and make them work for me.
So I turn to the collective knowledge of #hcsmca. On Wednesday, November 19 at 1pm ET, let’s explore our algorithm literacy and discuss these topics.
- T1: Are you aware that algorithms affect what you see and are seen on social media?
- T2: What do you like about algorithms?
- T3: What don’t you like?
- T4: Does it change your behaviour on Facebook knowing that it’s algorithms influence your feeds?
- T5: Do you game algorithms? If so, how?
Hamilton, K., Karahalios, K., Sandvig, C. & Eslami, M. (2014). “A Path to Understanding the Effects of Algorithm Awareness.” In CHI Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (alt.CHI). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 631-642.
Sandvig, C., Hamilton, K., Karahalios, K., & Langbort, C. (2014). “Auditing Algorithms: Research Methods for Detecting Discrimination on Internet Platforms.” Paper presented to “Data and Discrimination,” a pre-conference of the 64th annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Seattle, WA, USA.
Sandvig, C. (2014). “Corrupt Personalization.” (Blog Post)
Tufekci, Z (2014). Why Twitter Should Not Algorithmically Curate the Timeline (Blog Post)