The Politics of Social Filtering
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Social filtering – the selective engagement with people, communication and other information as a result of the recommendations of others – has always taken place. However, the possibilities of the Internet combined with the growth of online social networking activities have enabled this process to become rapidly more extensive, easier and potentially problematic. This paper focuses on the analysis of the politics of social filtering through social network sites. It argues that what is needed is both a closer examination and evaluation of these processes and also the development of a framework through which to begin such an evaluation. There is also a second intent: to (re)assert the argument that any analysis necessarily needs to take into account and critique the development, implementation and use of technologies (this includes the software, algorithms and code)themselves as well as the people that build and use them.
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