Algorithms, and the Automated Censorship of Social Media - 02/26/2014
Tarleton Gillespie, associate professor, Department of Communication, Cornell University; Visiting Researcher, Microsoft Research New England
Search engines, recommentlaton systems, edge algorithms on social networking sites, and "trend" identification algorithms not only help us find information; they provide a means to know what there is to know and to participate in social and political discourse. In this talk Gillespie wIll highlight and explore one particular dimension of these public relevance algorithms that has politcal valence: curaton by algorithm. As part of the larger project of overseeing what appears onlIne and what should be removed, social media platforms have increasiney experimented with designing their algorithms so as to curate: the very mechanism for deliverIng content in response to your query may also he used to hold hack what might offend you. Understanding the calculations and motivations behind this algorithmIc moderation helps highlight how these algorithms are relevant to our collective efforts to know and be known.