Control Through Ignorance

Evil media discusses the various ways the allowance for control takes hold of many media entities. In the Structures chapter in particular, the authors outline how media is programmed to manipulate its users. Systems such as algorithms, data mining, and leaks allow an individual or a specific group to control how users act with/on their media source. In order for this form of control to flow smoothly, it is essential for it to go largely unnoticed. Intentional leaks help to achieve this. Facebook, for instance, intentionally leaked their EdgeRank algorithm. The algorithm determines what is shown on the Newsfeed. Facebook changes the algorithm frequently, however, giving only a portion of the puzzle piece to its users. This allows Facebook to keep the control but give the appearance of filling their users in on their operations. Evil Media states that, “ignorance is the most important value to trade on. Only going as far as you are enabled by the assumptions that you want to confirm…” (99). Platforms operate through users’ ignorance in order to control them.This way, even if users do not like the platform, they will continue to use it as they have been conditioned to under the platform’s control.

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– Amelia

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~ by ameliaam on April 22, 2014.

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