The paper “Designing What’s News - An Ethnography of a Personalization Algorithm and the Data-Driven (Re)Assembling of the News” is a great illustration of Kranzberg’s First Law of Technology, which states that “Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral.” In this paper, published in Digital Journalism, Anna Schjøtt Hansen and Jannie Møller Hartley … Continue reading On how algorithms are consequential – example from a newsroom
On the power of symbols Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, September 8th. In addition to being a person, Elizabeth II was also an institution, and, in that latter role, she was promptly replaced by her first-born son, Charles. The change in Head of State will be reflected in ceremonial as well as functional objects … Continue reading [Miscellany] The Monarch’s symbols, writing for the algorithm vs. your audience, and people that shaped me
If I gave you free reign of the larder, and asked you to prepare a good meal, what would you cook? Something rich and creamy, to help me get through this long week? Or a vegetable laden pie, to help me get my 5-a-day? It depends on your definition of good, right? Meals are not … Continue reading What is a good meal? What is a good algorithm?
This month (November 5th to be exact) marked the 10th anniversary of my PhD viva. I did my PhD at LSE with Dr James Backhouse, and investigated the profiling of undesirable customers (or customer screening). I looked at how organisations define who is a desirable customer, and who isn’t one; and the process that they … Continue reading My PhD, 10 years on
Super interesting and short talk by Cathy O'Neil about What is an algorithm Why they are subjective, flawed and unfair How they can have disastrous effects in people’s lives How they perpetuate the past and historical discrimination Why they are so difficult to scrutinise And, thus, why we can not have blind faith in big … Continue reading TED talk: blind faith in big data must end
Facebook did it again. Change its news feed algorithm, that is. Facebook’s Engineering Director, Lars Backstrom, announced that: "we are updating News Feed over the coming weeks so that the things posted by the friends you care about are higher up in your News Feed”. This move goes in the opposite direction of that … Continue reading Facebook changes newsfeed algorithm, again. Now what?
This month felt very much like a Mad Hatter tea party, with quite a bit of nonsense, and weirdness, and twists and turns. At least there was a lot of tea. And cake. These are my highlights for the month that was. Tell me yours, in the comments below. Researching I worked on a … Continue reading March 2016 round-up
Instagram announced that it is changing the way it presents content in our feeds from reverse chronological order to ‘presumed relevance’. According to the company’s press release: The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and … Continue reading Instagram switching to relevance algorithm – what it means for you
December was a busy month, though not as productive as November (specially on the writing and research front). I think that AcWriMo really helped to motivate me to write every day, and that in turn helped me move on with various writing projects. December was also the last month of my #5pmproject, and these … Continue reading December 2015 round-up
The blog has been very quiet for the past 2-3 weeks because I was travelling. It was a mixture of work and holidays, in the US. I had hoped to keep writing during this period. However, it proved frustratingly difficult to have access to fast, reliable and inexpensive Wi-Fi. In the end, I just gave … Continue reading Breaking through the filter bubble with social media