This article is an interdisciplinary critical analysis of personalization systems and the gatekeeping role of current mainstream social media. The first section presents a literature review of data-driven personalization and its challenges in social media. The second section sheds light on increasing concerns regarding algorithms’ ability to overtly persuade—and covertly manipulate—users for the sake of engagement, introducing the emergence of the exclusive ownership of behavioral modification through hyper-nudging techniques. The third section empirically analyzes users’ expectations and behaviors regarding such data-driven personalization to frame a conceptualization of users’ agency. The fourth section introduces the concept of “algorithmic sovereignty.” Current projects that aim to grant this algorithmic sovereignty highlight some potential applications. Together this novel theoretical framework and empirical applications suggest that, to preserve trust, social media should open their personalization algorithms to a social negotiation as the first step toward a more sustainable social media landscape. To decentralize the immense power of mainstream social media, guarantee a democratic oversight, and mitigate the unintended undesirable consequences of their algorithmic curation, public institutions and civil society could help in developing and researching public algorithms, fostering a collective awareness so as to eventually ensure a fair and accountable “algorithmic sovereignty”.

Thinking Outside the Black-Box: The Case for “Algorithmic Sovereignty” in Social Media / U. Reviglio, C. Agosti. - In: SOCIAL MEDIA + SOCIETY. - ISSN 2056-3051. - 6:2(2020), pp. 205630512091561.1-205630512091561.12.

Thinking Outside the Black-Box: The Case for “Algorithmic Sovereignty” in Social Media

U. Reviglio
;
2020

Abstract

This article is an interdisciplinary critical analysis of personalization systems and the gatekeeping role of current mainstream social media. The first section presents a literature review of data-driven personalization and its challenges in social media. The second section sheds light on increasing concerns regarding algorithms’ ability to overtly persuade—and covertly manipulate—users for the sake of engagement, introducing the emergence of the exclusive ownership of behavioral modification through hyper-nudging techniques. The third section empirically analyzes users’ expectations and behaviors regarding such data-driven personalization to frame a conceptualization of users’ agency. The fourth section introduces the concept of “algorithmic sovereignty.” Current projects that aim to grant this algorithmic sovereignty highlight some potential applications. Together this novel theoretical framework and empirical applications suggest that, to preserve trust, social media should open their personalization algorithms to a social negotiation as the first step toward a more sustainable social media landscape. To decentralize the immense power of mainstream social media, guarantee a democratic oversight, and mitigate the unintended undesirable consequences of their algorithmic curation, public institutions and civil society could help in developing and researching public algorithms, fostering a collective awareness so as to eventually ensure a fair and accountable “algorithmic sovereignty”.
social media; personalization; algorithm governance; sovereignty; data activism
Settore SPS/01 - Filosofia Politica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/840214
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