Algorithmic Gatekeeping

I think Tufekci considers Algorithmic Gatekeeping as ways to release information to the public. On Facebook, you could easily release information that people may not know yet. Either as journalists or just as the general public of Facebook, you could easily dusucss to all of your friends or followers information that they may not know yet and start a conversation. Computational Agency it seems is how you are able to be the gatekeeper or how you can work your power to make sure that the role of algorithmic gatekeeper is easy for you. Another way of thinking of Computational Agency, Tufekci is said to “imagine that your service provider has tasked your smartphone – armed with detailed information about you- with keeping you engaged in the conversation (207).” This compares agency to someones ability to get you to join their gatekeeping conversation. Your advertisements are tailored to what you like and buy. With that they keep you interested in their content and their public writing while using their agency to be a gatekeeper.

As public writers, I think it is super important to think of algorithms to the secret of success with spreading your idea, your call to action, or your general public vision. Gatekeeping can even just be a picture on your Facebook of a new store in town. This gives your audience the ability to see what is new and have them discuss it with other people in their city. This algorithm is how advertisements utilize their public message and show themselves in the chain of public and local news. As Tafikci discusses, it is important to take in who your demographic and target audience is when you open the algorithmic gatekeeping. This way you can have an idea on how far your content will go. As I said previously, posting a picture of a new store will most likely open the conversation for people who live in the new stores neighborhood and surrounding areas.

Using Facebook for such news breaking may sometimes be difficult due to how many different responses your audience may have. Some may share your news continuing an open online conversation. Other times, your audience may just press the like button not giving you any concrete evidence that they have continued the conversation. They may have spoken to their friends and family about the content in person, leaving those people with that new information the ability to continue the conversation or break the barrier in that chain. Comments can continue conversations at the scene giving your target audience the ability to discuss with others in the target audience of the post but not in their own follower or friend space. Overall, I think that Algorithmic Gatekeeping is a really important concept for public writing since it opens up so many doors for yourself or others to discuss new things. Agency is also an important idea since it incorporates the how. The how is one of the most important ways of spreading information. You must think of who your audience is and decide HOW you will word your information, or what you will include, or how to present your content with languages. It is the basic steps of Algorithmic Gatekeeping.

One thought on “Algorithmic Gatekeeping

  1. Gotta be honest, this blog post felt a little rushed. Let me try to slow it down and return to the the material you read:

    You write: “You must think of who your audience is and decide HOW you will word your information, or what you will include, or how to present your content with languages.”

    Why is this different from any approach to writing in any environment? If it is different, how so? How do the ways information is filtered in newsfeeds impact how we should compose what we share and post?

    There aren’t easy answers here, but I bet there are ways to think about writing in the context of Tufekci’s article that are worth pursuing further.

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