This presentation puts forward the notion of the searchable archive as a competing
knowledge paradigm and a means for circumventing Facebook’s algorithmic mediation
of social and political on Facebook. It makes a theoretical and methodological
proposition for re-introducing archival logic to the study of ephemeral and algorithmic
social media. Such proposition attempts to replace Facebook's personalized and
generative knowledge regime with principles of universal knowledge and fixed data.
Using examples from Polibook.online, a research tool for analyzing politicians'
discourse on Facebook, the presentation goes on to argue that such attempts to
archive, re-organize and re-mediate Facebook data are still limited in their ability to
generate alternative knowledge spaces, and that they do not necessarily "democratize"
knowledge or "liberate" users from the platform's constraints on what it lets them
May 6th, 18:00, Student house, Building 502 Room 43