Author: judith

The power of algorithms – closing debate of the SGKM

Judith was invited to participate in the closing debate of the annual meeting of the Swiss Association of Communication Science (SGKM) on «The power of algorithms: societal, economic and political implications»  with Michael Latzer (IPMZ Universität Zürich), René Pfitzer (Lead Data Scientist, Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Jens Kaessner (Telecomjurist BAKOM), Urs Karrer (Digital Consulting Practice Lead IBM Schweiz);
Convener: Konstantin Dörr (Research and Teaching Associate Universität Zürich)
The panel was co-organised by the group Medienpolitik, Medienstrukturen und Mediengeschichte.

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Personalised communiction in dialogue with artists

On Thursday Judith presented our work at the first edition of unfair current practice in Pakhuis de Zwijger. The  focus of the event was the relationship between image, creator and user. What are the aesthetic conditions for producing  ‘truth’? How do artists use the method of pop propaganda in mass media in their own work? How do they respond to the climate of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’? And is there space for research into truth-finding in the art? The evening aimed to interface between media, visual arts and the public and uses art to make sense of current visual questions.

 

Here’s How Facebook Actually Won Trump the Presidency | WIRED

Facebook proved to be a powerful way for Trump’s team to hone the campaign’s message with the kind of enormous sample sizes you can’t get with traditional polling. “They have an advantage of a platform that has users that are conditioned to click and engage and give you feedback,” says Gary Coby, director of advertising at the Republican National Committee, who worked on Trump’s campaign. “Their platform’s built to inform you about what people like and dislike.”Coby’s team took full advantage of the abi

Source: Here’s How Facebook Actually Won Trump the Presidency | WIRED

Facebook Employees Pushed to Remove Trump’s Posts as Hate Speech

Some of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s posts on Facebook have set off an intense debate inside the social media company over the past year, with some employees arguing certain posts about banning Muslims from entering the U.S. should be removed for violating the site’s rules on hate speech, according to people familiar with the matter.

Source: Facebook Employees Pushed to Remove Trump’s Posts as Hate Speech

New publication: Shrinking core? Exploring the differential agenda setting power of traditional and personalized news media

This paper aims to shed light on the impact of personalized news media on the shared issue agenda that provides democracies with a set of topics that structure the public debate. The advent of personalized news media that use smart algorithms to tailor the news offer to the user challenges the established way of setting the agenda of such a common core of issues.

This paper tests the effects of personalized news use on perceived importance of these issues in the common core. In particular, the authors study whether personalized news use leads to a concentration at the top of the issue agenda or to a more diverse issue agenda with a long tail of topics.

Based on a cross-sectional survey of a representative population sample (n = 1,556), we find that personalized news use does not lead to a small common core in which few topics are discussed extensively, yet there is a relationship between personalized news use and a preference for less discussed topics. This is a result of a specific user profile of personalized news users: younger, more educated news users are more interested in topics at the fringes of the common core and also make more use of personalized news offers. The results are discussed in the light of media diversity and recent advances in public sphere research.

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about algorithmic news dissemination. While, currently, much attention is reserved for the role of platforms as information gatekeepers in relationship to the news media, maybe their ability to enable or hinder the audience in discovering and distributing news content is part of what really characterizes their influence on the market place of ideas.

Full text available here:  Shrinking core? Exploring the differential agenda setting power of traditional and personalized news media: info: Vol 18, No 6