Social Media and Algorithms: Configurations of the Lifeworld Colonization by New Media


  • Carlos Figueiredo
  • César Bolaño



Social media is a pervasive part of everyday life. That is, new media occupies more and more spaces in individuals’ lives both in intimate and work sphere. In addition, due to convergence, new media brought together interpersonal and mass communications in the same environment. This fact has caused a wide range of changes in cultural industries. One of the main changes brought about by social media in relation to the mass media is the construction of a flow of content, advertising and propaganda customized for each individual, and constructed from surveillance and control of individuals’ interactions in digital networks. For so doing, one element is central: Algorithms. It is not only by means of contents produced by cultural workers or amateurs that social media guarantees the life world colonization by the system, but mainly through the tracking of user interactions. That is possible thanks to the data gathering performed by algorithms. Therefore, social networks colonize the life world in a more constant and pervasive way than mass media, facilitating surveillance and social control that are vital for both, the digital conglomerates economic power and the state capacity to watch individuals, either to strengthen the sales effort or to ensure citizen vigilance.




How to Cite

Figueiredo, Carlos, and César Bolaño. 2017. “Social Media and Algorithms: Configurations of the Lifeworld Colonization by New Media”. The International Review of Information Ethics 26 (December). Edmonton, Canada.