Algorithms Adore Extreme Right Content

19 Apr, 2022

Algorithms Adore Extreme Right Content

In The Revolution that Wasn't, Jen Schradie demonstrates that far from the web being an egalitarian and horizontal space, it privileges conservative messaging. She discusses this work in an interview with Cyprien Caddeo and Pierric Marissal in l'Humanité.

From the interview:

"It's not just a matter of ideas. Already, there are more conservative groups using the Internet than progressive collectives. In general, right-wing organizations are more networked, and hierarchical and have real expertise in algorithms, their operation, and their relays. One of the myths of the Internet is to believe that it is within everyone's reach to create viral content, that everyone can become a kind of "citizen-journalist": it actually requires real expertise in the tools Internet and a real organization. This brings us to another myth of digital activism: the Web is horizontal. He is not. In fact, more hierarchical groups, with individuals dedicated to specific tasks, are more effective.

As for the ideas themselves, conservative or far-right slogans are generally more provocative or at least provoke more emotion, and anger in the reactions on social networks. However, algorithms love this kind of content that generates engagement. On the left, there are many different themes, a wider diversity of groups, of struggles (egalitarian, anti-speciesist, LGBT…). It is not very effective, less viral, because it is more difficult to summarize such concepts or social reality in a tweet or a hashtag."

To read the full article, please check it out here.