Algorithms and Affective Publics

The new volume Affective Formation of Publics is out! I have contributed a text that discusses the affective impact of algorithms on publics. This question has been dominated by grandiose claims both in policy debates (e.g. filter bubble) and dubious industries (think Cambridge Analytica). I argue that too often critics have bought into these narratives — even if to show how dangerous algorithms are for publics. Instead, as I show in my text, a more sober analysis is necessary, which yields that algorithms indeed pose problems for publics. Yet, these problems are different than those often claimed and need a more thorough understanding of the structural role affects play for publics in general.

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