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If...ThenAlgorithmic Power and Politics$
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Taina Bucher

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190493028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190493028.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

Life at the Top

Life at the Top

Engineering Participation

(p.66) 4 Life at the Top

Taina Bucher

Oxford University Press

Algorithms play a fundamental role in governing the conditions of the intelligible and the sensible online. If users provide the data, the techniques, and procedures to make sense of it, to navigate, assemble, and make meaningful connections among individual pieces of data is increasingly being delegated to various forms of algorithms. In the case of the world’s biggest and most used social media platform, Facebook, algorithmic mechanisms shape the concerted distribution of people, information, actions, and ways of seeing and being seen. The chapter investigates how this kind of algorithmic intervention into people’s information-sharing practices takes place and what are the principles and logics of Facebook’s algorithmic governance. Through an analysis of the algorithmic logics structuring the flow of information and communication on Facebook’s news feed, the argument is made that the regime of visibility constructed imposes a perceived threat of invisibility on the part of the participatory subject.

Keywords:   Facebook, news feed, algorithm, Foucault, Panopticon, power, engineering culture, hacker, subjectivity, participation

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