This project aims to understand the contribution of DSNs to public debate, the promises they embody in terms of inclusion and publicizing new claims, as well as the threats they pose in terms of brutalizing exchanges or invisibilisation of the texts and images through which a community is structured online. Although DSNs are invested as places of self-construction and community structuring by people who are "minorized" by virtue of their social or ethnic origin or "sexual orientation", that their rules of use are protective and that the discourses of the companies that hold them are egalitarian, they are implicated in many cases of "algorithmic discrimination".
The thesis will be organized in three parts:
- The first part will study the causes of "algorithmic discrimination" by looking at the
technical design of the algorithms and the discourses of the different stakeholders. It is crucial to have the means to understand how algorithms work, particularly in view of the rhetorical use that companies make of the "opacity" of algorithms and the "secrecy" that surrounds them.
- The second part will study the specific manifestations of a type of "algorithmic discrimination" and, for example, with regard to "sexual orientation", the tensions that may exist between the willingness to allow sexual cultures to express themselves and the banning of nudity in order to attract young audiences. The examination of the effects induced by cultural discrepancies between the country where algorithms are developed and the country where they act, as well as the analysis of the social practices to which the experimentation of "algorithmic discrimination" gives rise (expertise in circumvention) will be central to this research.
- The third part will study the way in which cases of mediatized "algorithmic discrimination" are resolved: how to repair a harm suffered? Does the knowledge of the actors participate in making algorithms more ethical?
PhD student: Thibault Grison
PhD supervisor: Virginie Julliard
Research laboratory: GRIPIC - Groupe de recherches interdisciplinaires sur les processus d’information et de communication