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ICAPE - Debunking Instagram's Algorithm-Sugarcoating

Author:

Gross, Tobey

Category:

Research Papers

Sub-Category:

Ecology - Life/Social Sciences

Language:

English

Date Published:

June 2, 2024

Downloads:

17

Keywords:

Algorithmic Personalization, Digital Media, Social Media, Content Curation, Framing, Sentiment Analysis, Recommender Algorithms

Abstract:

In 2021 and 2023, there were two distinct official statements published on the mechanics behind the algorithm responsible for Instagram's content feed curation, where the 2023 publication, named "Instagram Ranking Explained" is presented as an updated and expanded version of the one in 2021, named "Shedding More Light on How Instagram Works". This paper examines the statements made therein by Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram who authored the publications, comparing them with insights from contemporary literature and investigating the sentiment of the publications through a mixed-method sentiment analysis. The analysis aims to show, that the statements present the algorithm in a particularly positive light, downplaying and largely ignoring potential detriments. Statements are examined for pseudo-transparency, providing a veneer of openness, while concealing deeper economic motives through obscuring practices like data extraction and engagement maximization, especially in mid of rising criticism towards social networking sites.

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