Angèle Christin, 20219-2020 Paris IAS Fellow, presents her research project The Paradoxes of Algorithmic Labor at the weekly internal web seminar.
The communication will be discussed by Dominique Cardon, professor of sociology, director of the Médialab at Sciences Po.
Digital technologies are transforming the production, distribution, and reception of media content in contemporary societies; they are also affecting existing systems of visibility and invisibility. To date, most research has focused on the kinds of labor made invisible by social media platforms. Paradoxically, in spite of media headlines on the dynamics of instant “virality,” less academic attention has been paid to the new forms of public visibility that have emerged through social media. In this presentation I focus on so-called “influencers,” or people who monetize the content they post on social media platforms. I examine their work practices, employment structures, and systems of online visibility. I present some initial findings of my ethnographic fieldwork in progress on YouTube “drama creators” and connect them with my previous work about online news and the algorithmic public sphere.