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  • Algorithmic Prosumers

    Elisabetta Risi, Riccardo Pronzato

    Chapter from the book: Armano, E et al. 2022. Digital Platforms and Algorithmic Subjectivities.


    Today almost everything we do in our everyday life is datafied and fed into an algorithm, i.e. reduced to an input that recursive computational systems process and transform into behavioural models. How algorithms sort, classify and propose contents have a striking impact on how people make sense of the world and derive their sense of self. Despite their powerful social presence, however, algorithms remain mainly invisible to individuals, as well as difficult to examine for researchers. By drawing on autoethnographic diaries, prepared following a critical pedagogy approach, this chapter discusses the results of empirical research that aims to analyse media consumption, content production and sharing practices on digital platforms in order to shed light on how individuals relate to algorithmic media and how they critically reflect on their apparently innocuous daily online practices. This chapter argues that users on digital platforms can be framed as algorithmic prosumers. Indeed, the consumption, as well as the production, of contents on digital platforms are algorithmic practices that foster datafication and capitalist surveillance logics, with users feeding algorithmic media while they are contemporarily fed by them within a recursive loop. In this context ‘the individual’ emerges as an entity whose subjectivity is strictly connected to and enacted by computational procedures.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Risi E. & Pronzato R. 2022. Algorithmic Prosumers. In: Armano, E et al (eds.), Digital Platforms and Algorithmic Subjectivities. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book54.l

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    Published on Nov. 1, 2022