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I found your post to be very well researched and really thought provoking Ruth. It introduced me to some concepts that I was unfamiliar with like wiki-lobbying. Microsoft paid for positive entries?! Geez, did Bill know? I missed out on that whole saga completely. You’ve inspired me to go and do a bunch of reading and procrastinate instead of working on my essays. I was particularly intrigued by the notion that algorithms could be systemically marginalising minorities as I had never even considered that concept before.
I am one of those people who doesn’t like to be approached by helpful staff when I am shopping and much prefer to serendipitous-ly stumble across interesting products and I like to think that I when I shop online I treat the suggestions of the algorithm with the same level of avoidance but if I end up buying a few things and others like me have bought the same then I am contributing to a formula that is seeking to remove those moments of happy chance and replace them with shoppers who all by the same things because Amazon told them they would like it. I don’t really like the sound of that.
Thanks for the excellent post!