Upcoming Events: Uncovering Algorithms: Looking Inside the Facebook News Feed (7/22); Democratizing Ideologies & Inequality

July 16, 2014
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Upcoming Events / Digital Media
July 16, 2014
berkman luncheon series

Uncovering Algorithms: Looking Inside the Facebook News Feed

Tuesday, July 22, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.


Our online lives are organized by computer algorithms that select and recommend advertisements, search results, news, and online social interactions. These algorithms are often closely-guarded secrets kept by Internet companies, but researchers, users, and the public might legitimately need to know how these algorithms operate. In this talk we will use the Facebook news feed as an example to ask: How do we go about knowing these algorithms from the outside? This includes a discussion of potential research designs that investigate algorithms and also research on how users think about these algorithms.

Christian Sandvig is Steelcase Research Professor and Associate Professor in Communication Studies and at the School of Information at the University of Michigan, where he specializes in research investigating the development of Internet infrastructure and public policy. Karrie Karahalios is an associate professor in computer science at the University of Illinois where she heads the Social Spaces Group. Cedric Langbort is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and a member of the Information Trust Institute and the Decision and Control Group of the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Democratizing Ideologies and Inequality Regimes in Digital Domains

Tuesday, July 29, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.


Internet studies tends to conceptualize groups as collectivities anchored by shared ideas, interests, and information. Sociologists understand groups as also anchored by identity, social location, and power relationships. It's a tension between groups of affiliation versus ascription. The difference is meaningful for how we understand inequality across digital domains. How can we theoretically and methodologically understand both concepts of group in social media generally and specifically in a case study of informal learning spaces on Facebook and Twitter?

Tressie McMillan Cottom is completing her PhD in the Sociology Department at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. As a stratification scholar, Tressie considers what inequality means both experientially and empirically when corporations are people, supranational corporations like Facebook and Twitter shape the public square, and education is increasingly privatized. Her research primarily mines organizational arrangements and structural processes to better understand inequality across rapidly changing social domains. Her current work examines for-profit college credentials and inequality. She also has a developing research agenda that examines the political economy of emerging “new” media organizations. RSVP Required. more information on our website>


Melissa Gira Grant: w4m - The End of the American Red Light District


The history of the American red light district is quite brief –- from railroad signal lights to hotel bathroom selfies -– and clouded in myth. Soon it may be lost. In this talk, Melissa Gira Grant -- freelance journalist and author of "Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work" (Verso, 2014) -- reconsiders how communication technologies shape sex-for-sale, proposes that sex work has merged with the network, and discusses what we can learn from how sex workers have remained a step ahead. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

Local, national, international, and online events that may be of interest to the Berkman community:

  • 7/18-20: HOPE X (New York City)

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See our events calendar if you're curious about future luncheons, discussions, lectures, and conferences not listed in this email. Our events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Last updated

July 16, 2014