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Identity and Algorithms

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cou 227

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of Identity and Algorithms

Identity and Algorithms
In reality we have different identities depending on context; where we are, who we are with etc.

Our personality is linked with our identity.

But to what extent does the internet 'know' who we are?

"If we thought that our every word and deed were public, fear of disapproval or more tangible retaliation might keep us from doing or saying things which we would do or say could we be sure of keeping them to ourselves." writes law professor Charles Fried.
Is personalisation limiting our interests?
With peoples initial ability to shape media, and the media we are subjected to, we build an identity influenced by media.
But with algorithms finding your interests and showing you only related topics, is this limiting our horizons? With too much of the same thing we can become bored and lose interest, so could these algorithms have a negative impact on our interests?
As media gains an 'understanding' of you do we have less influence on media?
Some people may be less inclined to try new things.
I found there were many subjects that could have been responded to but feel the concept of identity and how machines interpret you is quite interesting.

I believe there are many versions of the same person online and depending on context I also consider anonymity to be a good thing. When it comes to identity I find context to be highly important. You never truly know who someone is online as they have various accounts and do not have to be truthful.
Google Vs. Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg claims 'You have one identity'
Eli Pariser states; There's a big difference between "you are what you click" and "you are what you share."
'Even in situations where the context clearly plays a major role, we find it hard to separate how someone behaves from who she is.' Pariser p.116
' "persuasion profiling" suggests that the kinds of arguments you respond to are highly transferrable from one domain to another.'

As there is a lack of privacy and companies can sell information about you, advertisers can use this information to target you more effectively. This is only based on the information you have supplied and the conclusions drawn using algorithms.

But they cannot yet determine your actual personality, which varies due to context.
With Google monitoring what we click on and what sites we visit, it gains a basic 'understanding' of our interests and can create its own version of our identity.

However, Facebook interprets your interests and affiliation with others depending on interaction with people and pages. It does this using EdgeRank.

I agree with Pariser as there are different algorithms between different sites and browsers, therefore the impression that site gains of you will be different to what Facebook thinks you will like, due to differences in what is taken into account.

With this there are different identities of you online.
I also agree with this as people do not post everything on Facebook and we may leave out some of our interests when making first impressions. This is due to people wanting to feel acceptance, we post what we think will get 'likes,' or an opinion that we want validated and prefer to stay anonymous with private problems.
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