Big data, Big brother? En studie om hur förståelser av Big data och algoritmer kan påverka beteenden på sociala medier och sökmotorer

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för ABM och digitala kulturer

Sammanfattning: This bachelor thesis explores people’s awareness of Big data and algorithms in their everyday use of social media and search engines. This research aims to gain an understanding of what implications the awareness leads to, which effects on privacy issues and identity do they result in? Relating closely to privacy and identity is the question of surveillance and self-governance, both of which are frequently used in discussions regarding Big data and algorithms. This thesis uses the method of qualitative interviews with four informants about their personal experience in their everyday life, regarding social media and search engines, to help answer the questions. This study discovers that the informants perceive their digital identity as highly linked to their ‘real life’-identity, and that the use of Big data and algorithms can help them perform their identity on social media. The digital identity is highly representative for who they are and the personal data left on the internet contributes to the feelings of surveillance and therefore a sense of discipline is instilled with the informants. The discipline is often expressed through careful considerations with the implicit actions on social media such as ‘likes’ and ‘following’. The informants try to conduct themselves according to the plurality of spectators that they imagine are watching. However, the study shows that the informants were less likely to change their search engine behavior, resulting in targeted marketing and the likeliness of creating ‘filter bubbles’. Filter bubbles can participate in validating one’s opinions and actions. The constant reassuring can result in the approval of one’s conduct as highly desirable, consequently making it necessary to enforce onto others.

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