[SIGCIS-Members] CCM and Hidden Digital Labor

Thomas Haigh thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Tue Apr 4 14:43:32 PDT 2017

Interesting article, and great to see people from the SIGCIS community getting their work out to broader audiences.


On the topic of fake news, I’m one of the authors of an article forthcoming in Journalism Studies that uses some STS ideas to explore the work of StopFake, a Ukrainian organization that at the time we observed it consisted of volunteers relying on the Internet to coordinate their work processes. Their idea was to enlist the power of social media to disrupt the flood of fake news coming from Russian state-allied media and the notorious troll factories. They had some success, although there’s a huge asymmetry between the ease of producing and spreading fake news and the difficulty of countering it with viral rebuttals. The conclusions include some discussion of the relevant of this for Western media, and the challenges that fake news poses for traditional fact checking. Preprint at http://www.tomandmaria.com/Tom/Writing/StopFakePreprint.pdf 


Best wishes,






From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Joly MacFie
Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2017 3:48 PM
To: M. Hicks <mhicks1 at iit.edu>
Cc: members <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] CCM and Hidden Digital Labor


Good pointer. Tweeted. https://twitter.com/isocny/status/849362662119137282

  <https://t.yesware.com/t/b3b03f93acb29dde874548d979c14638352bd06e/b32eb108da6927439ce75a4fb0a0549c/spacer.gif>   <http://t.yesware.com/t/b3b03f93acb29dde874548d979c14638352bd06e/b32eb108da6927439ce75a4fb0a0549c/spacer.gif> 


On Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 2:33 PM, M. Hicks <mhicks1 at iit.edu <mailto:mhicks1 at iit.edu> > wrote:

Hi all,


I wanted to make sure everyone had seen Sarah Roberts's piece in the Atlantic on fake news, CCM, and the hidden labor that we often assume is algorithmic rather than human. Sarah is a longtime member whose work has consistently challenged the Silicon Valley narrative of seamless automation. Sarah in fact coined the term CCM, and is literally "writing the book on it." You may have met or seen her recently at our meeting at the Computer History Museum (Command Lines, #SIGCIS2017).


I teach a course on the history of digital labor and Sarah's work never fails to amaze my students. I figure this up-to-the-minute encapsulation of her work might be useful to folks who teach similar courses. 


Here's an excerpt from her article, and a link below:

"Missing from this evolving self portrayal [of social media websites], however, has been significant mention of a distinct kind of editorial practice that Facebook and most other prominent social-media platforms are involved in. Thus far, much of the post-election discussion of social-media companies has focused on algorithms and automated mechanisms that are often assumed to undergird most content-dissemination processes online. But algorithms are not the whole story. In fact, there is a profound human aspect to this work. I call it commercial content moderation, or CCM."






Marie Hicks, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, History of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago, IL USA
mhicks1 at iit.edu <mailto:mhicks1 at iit.edu>  | mariehicks.net <http://www.mariehicks.net/>  | @histoftech <http://twitter.com/histoftech> 
Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing (MIT Press, 2017)
www.programmedinequality.com <http://www.programmedinequality.com/> 


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Joly MacFie  218 565 9365 Skype:punkcast

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