Network Communication: Algorithmic and Risky Connection

stmm. 2020 (2): 5-23



Doctor of Sciences in Sociology, Professor, Head of Department of Sociology of Culture and Mass Communication, Institute of Sociology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (12, Shovkovychna St., Kyiv, 01021)

Abstract. The article presents methods of reasoning about the modern algorithmic culture defined by the communicative modes of networks. It is emphasized that, regardless of the biases and accentuations of theoretical thought regarding the information environment and digital communications, the transformation of operator statuses and the mechanics of exchanges, the conceptual space is increasingly leaning towards variations in modeling the interaction of human and non-human agents, in parity or enhancing the privileges of everyone. In support of this, cases of mutual observability of complex algorithms of status online platforms and financial markets, that increases their micro-temporal predictability; the use of botnets of infected computers without the consent of their users in an attack on targeted websites, demonstrating the capabilities of internal machine logic; broadcasting “fake news” in informative practices inspired by human intentionality and adjusted by network generativity are considered. In attempts to discuss socio-technical media reality, discourses of power systems, hierarchical structures and civil society are combined with an understanding of the processes of “social submission” and “machine enslavement”(Deleuze, Guattari), the “technical mentality” (Simondon), as the ontogenetic ability of complex machines to autonomous and self-referential development, that should not be ignored or exaggerated. The search for “non-technical” semantics for describing the media state, updating an acceptable language for sociology, without losing the patterns and facts of media reality, providing a speedy universal connection, producing new solidarity and disunity, changing meanings, but also exuding virulence, remains urgently needed.

Keywords: algorithmic culture, anthropocentrism, techno-determinism, media, social networks, Gilbert Simondon, “technical mentality”


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Received 12.05.2020